IBM has been named by Navigant Research as the 2013 leader in the Smart City Suppliers market. The IBM's Smarter Cities unit is generating some creative solutions to complex problems faced by cities across the globe. Using technology and data analytics, IBM is helping local governments to make their city's infrastructure work better, harnessing Big Data to drive sustainable economic growth.
Relieving traffic congestion in Birmingham, UK
IBM, Streetline, Amey and Birmingham City Council are working together to analyse big data to help understand parking patterns in order to better manage congestion, improve parking efficiency and make it easier to find parking. Ultra-low-power wireless sensors are installed in roads, which transmit date to the transport authority for analysis. An accompanying app can be downloaded by drivers, to get real-time availability and prices for parking.
Waste water management in South Bend, USA
The City of South Bend, Indiana, is using IBM's Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) to radically overhaul its water management system in order to protect public health and save on additional infrastructure investments. Using smart control valves and sensors, the IOC helps the city to optimise its existing sewer network by predicting the potential overflow of hazardous wastewater. It has helped the City to avoid paying out $120 million in infrastructure investments and around $600,000 in potential government fines.
IBM has also just been appointed as the Technology and Innovation Partner in the Thames Water AMP6 Alliance. As the tech partner, IBM will be introducing big data capabilities to identify opportunities for innovation in asset management and customer services across the London and the Thames Valley water network.
City-wide management in Rio, Brazil
The city of Rio has an IBM Intelligence Operations Centre running its entire city-wide operations. The IOC integrates data from across 30 different city agencies into a single operations centre, giving officials a big picture view of how the city is operating on a 24 by 7 basis. The city is using the IOC to manage the movement of traffic and public transportation systems, and the efficiency of power and water supplies.