Smart-city deployments to become a key policy area: ABI Research

The deployment of smart-city technologies and intelligent transportation services (ITS) is set to become a key policy area for local governments, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Penetration of ITS technologies in smart cities will range from 20% (in the case of autonomous vehicles) to 98% (traffic management) by 2025, according to the market-research company.

“While numerous smart city projects are currently testing or deploying multimodal transportation, traffic management, adaptive traffic signaling, transit ticketing and smart parking payment solutions, the focus will shift to urban tolling and freight systems to address rampant congestion and pollution issues, especially in developing regions,” said Dominque Bonte, vice president and practice director of ABI Research. “However, more structural approaches based on eMobility, cooperative ITS and V2I, autonomous vehicles, and widespread adoption of car sharing and on-demand taxis will be needed by the start of the next decade to cope with the unstoppable urbanization trend.”

According to ABI Research, so-called “inter-vertical” technologies, like Vehicle-to-Grid, will also be required if cities are to realize the synergies that urban M2M strategies can offer.

The company urges city governments and technology providers to combine technologies from within and across the industry to unlock the full potential of smart cities in terms of efficiency and economic growth.

“Unfortunately, many smart city projects remain fragmented and/or hijacked for gaining political capital on the back of public funding, especially in Europe,” said ABI Research.

Other issues include complexity, high costs and a lack of standards, besides privacy concerns.

“For the smart cities conundrum to emerge as a viable concept, it will have to emancipate and leave its old heritage behind,” said the company.