Dublin, Ohio, is home to a new Smart Parking project, courtesy of technology from Fujitsu and as part of the city's burgeoning Connected Dublin initiative.
Fujitsu today announced the completion of the CBRS-enabled pilot parking application, which aims to use analytics to boost local businesses and lower carbon emissions. As stated in a press release, this Smart Parking deployment in Dublin represents phase one of a "software-defined, 5G-ready digital transformation platform," which Fujitsu says will incorporate multi-layer software orchestration and control, physical and edge network equipment, IoT apps and devices and lifecycle support services.
But beyond its initial purpose, Fujitsu also notes that the city discovered an "unexpected benefit" during the pilot, in that the application has also helped measure the impacts of COVID-19 quarantine guidelines: "The data, including number of cars and duration of visits, have been invaluable to local government and businesses alike."
This added "bonus" may prove especially useful with infections on the rise in the region: Dublin reports that daily coronavirus cases for the broader county have tripled between June and July.
Indeed, the new Smart Parking pilot in Dublin is just one such initiative that's proven useful or at least informative during the global coronavirus pandemic.
In South Korea, for example, a platform in development since 2018 called the Smart City Data Hub has been used for contact tracing since mid-March, allowing the government to analyze data from cameras and other sensors to monitor for potential infections.
Similar efforts to use smart city infrastructure to curb the virus are also underway in India, where Tech Mahindra was asked by the government to update its existing platform to monitor people's movements via traffic cameras, drones and geo-fencing.
Surely, this somewhat unintended use of smart city technology calls legitimate privacy concerns into question. But as regions, particularly across the US, grapple with and fail to stop the spread of the virus (or manage the deluded defiance of their residents), the ability for smart parking lots and other existing and emerging connected infrastructure to trace infections may prove a necessary tool.
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— Nicole Ferraro, contributing editor, Light Reading