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Asset optimisation


“Smart cities of the future will include advanced network operations management and control systems that utilise field sensors to detect and respond quickly to equipment and infrastructure faults”


infrastructure faults. Vital infrastructure down- times will be cut using sensors that monitor the health of critical infrastructure, collect data on system functioning, alert operators inside an inte- grated urban control centre to the need for predic-


tive maintenance, and identify potential breakdowns before they occur. In transport, smarter vehicles, trains and public transport systems are increas- ingly sensing their surrounding environments and enhancing safety in situations where driver error is most common. On-board public transport, a range of GPS, posi-


tion fixing, video surveillance, and communica- tions equipment are increasingly providing more accurate and reliable multi-modal real-time pas- senger information, resulting in better informed travellers and ensuring a smoother, safer and more reliable experience for customers. Back-office systems that leverage sensors, web, mobile, and GPS technologies will


utilise smarter algorithms, data mining and predic-


tive modelling tools to reduce delays to passengers by opti- mising schedules and capacities in real time. Near railroad level crossings, a range of train-to-infrastructure and train- to-vehicle technologies will also improve passenger safety by better detection of fast approaching vehicles and providing warnings to avoid collisions. Electric vehicle charging infra- structure will also increasingly being integrated into smart grid networks, providing consumers with access to sustain- able and equitable forms of connected mobility. A combi- nation of technologies and sensors will also improve safety and security by permitting operators to remotely disable or enable a public transport service in the event of a secu- rity threat (eg an unauthorised driver).


THE BENEFITS: MORE FOR LESS Adoption of technology-based, customer-cen-


tric approaches have the potential to introduce substantial improvements in customer satisfaction, and create a shift in attitude to cost and value. A smarter city will mean bet- ter access to sustainable forms of transport; electricity and drinking water that can be counted on; and energy-efficient buildings resulting in enhanced standards and quality of life for today’s increasingly empowered citizens and consumers. In addition to improving asset utilisation, these systems will


Europe/Rest of the World Vol 8 No 3


also improve safety and security, enhance business and oper- ational outcomes, boost productivity and economic growth, and deliver environmental benefits Given the maturity levels and affordability of smart tech-


nologies, these benefits can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of investment in new infrastructure. In a study pub- lished in 2009 for the Australian Market, Access Economics reviewed the potential economic benefits from the adop- tion of smart technologies in transport, electricity, irrigation, health, and broadband communications. The report exam- ined how smart systems will allow the use of vast amounts of data collected in all areas of city activity far more effectively, providing the potential to radically alter our economy and society for the better. Their research demonstrated that smart technologies would have significant benefits including a 1.5 per cent increase in GDP, and increase in the net present value (NPV) of GDP by US$35-80billion over the first 10 years. In another report prepared by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, it was estimated that a 15 per cent reduction in emissions can be realised in 2020 through smart technologies that achieve energy and resource efficiency using adaptive and proactive technologies Globally the benefits of investment in smart infrastructure


are highlighted by recent research from the MGI that looked at how modernising our infrastructure to drive economic growth will require costly future investment in new projects. The MGI study, which looked at the projected global infra- structure investment over the next 17 years, estimated that just keeping pace with projected global GDP growth will require US$57trillion in infrastructure investment between now and 2030. That’s nearly 60 per cent more than the US$36trillion spent over the past 18 years, and more than the estimated value of today’s infrastructure. Given widespread fiscal constraints, even assembling the


minimum investment required to meet growth predictions is going to be a challenge. So rather than investment in new projects, governments should look to address some of their infrastructure needs by getting more out of existing capacity by adoption of smart infrastructure technologies. Boosting asset utilisation and expanding the use of demand-manage- ment measures can produce a decisive difference if scaled up globally, and can result in savings of up to US$400billion a year according to the MGI research The literature on smart transport technologies is abundant with case studies that demonstrate the benefits of Intelligent


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