How the Internet of Things are Improving Public Services

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The Internet of Things are being used more often in the public sector to improve delivery of services and resource allocation efficacy

By Mary Velan
EfficientGov

What Happened?
The Internet of Things are being used more often in the public sector to improve delivery of services and resource allocation efficacy. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the placement of sensors and software in physical infrastructure to collect real-time data on public sector activity.

Water and Energy Conservation
One way IoT solutions are helping local government agencies and private sector partners deliver services more effectively to residents is through the distribution of water. IoT solutions can be used to measure how much water is available in local reservoirs and tanks, and ensure it is pumped to residential and commercial users at the lowest possible operational cost. By deploying IoT solutions and predictive analytics, local agencies can boost conservation efforts while monitoring resources in real-time, Your Story reported.

The IoT approach calls for level sensors to be placed in water reservoirs and tanks to determine water levels and communicate the measurements back to a central server. Distributors can then calculate the volume of water at any given time, and make swift changes to protect dwindling resources.

Predictive analytics can be used to determine the demand of water a city would require for any period of time. Predictive analytics can forecast water requirements based on historical consumption, upcoming events and other unique factors.

When combined, public agencies can create a schedule for water pumps that meets city requirements while reducing opportunity for waste. The technology can also be used to determine when energy costs are at their lowest so water distribution can be completed at the lowest possible cost. Because energy costs and demands fluctuate regularly, IoT solutions and predictive analytics can help cities manage resources effectively and eliminate instances of waste, Your Story reported.

Public Transit
Public transportation projects are in high demand across the country and typically carry a large price tag. Therefore, it is imperative for local governments to know how exactly how effective new infrastructure, services and technologies will be before diving into the project.

In Singapore, local transit officials are working with data science experts to gather location data from resident mobile phones and social media to gain insights into citizen mobility patterns and how transportation resources are utilized. The goal is leverage IoT solutions and predictive analytics to analyze where people are at during particular times of the day, and monitor the routes and modes of transportation taken when they travel, Enterprise Innovation reported.

Once the data has been collected, scientists can simulate different transportation scenarios that include the new services or infrastructure proposed in projects. By simulating the project using actual data of traffic flows, local leaders hope to evaluate the potential impacts of new investments. More specifically, Singapore hopes to alleviate significant traffic congestion during peak hours by adjusting routes and creating new pathways for citizens to take, Enterprise Innovation reported.

Iot for Transit
More cities are taking a cue from Singapore and investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) to aid in transportation project decision making. A new study predicts the IoT in transportation market will be worth $143.93 billion by 2020 growing at a compound annual rate of 8.95 percent from 2014 to 2020. This growth will be fueled by more efficient solutions, better properties to withstand environmental conditions and longer life-spans.

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EfficientGov is an independent information service providing innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns around the world.