India will soon be the world’s most populous country – with all the negative aspects that entails. In order to stave off a total traffic collapse and massive pollution problems, the Indian government is betting heavily on the Internet of Things.
India is currently the second-most populous nation just behind China: In the summer of 2018, 1.37 billion people (and counting) lived there. An increasing number are city dwellers, with a third of all Indians now living in urban areas. The repercussions are clear: Miles of traffic jams, entire districts are buried in trash and clean drinking water is becoming a luxury good. The Indian government is hoping to combat these pressing problems with smart city projects and the Internet of Things (IoT). The three following examples show how it just might work.
SMART PARKING AGAINST TRAFFIC CHAOS
Honking, air pollutions, columns of cars: Traffic in Indian metropolises regularly descends into chaos. And that doesn’t just annoy drivers – the air quality of entire cities suffers under the constant gridlock. The start-up Get my Parking wants to tackle this problem with its smart parking app. Each month starting in 2017, some two million drivers use the app to book a parking spot in the Delhi metro region. That may just be the tip of the iceberg, but the technology certainly has potential: Smart sensors notify in real-time if parking spots are free or occupied. Drivers receive this information via the app on their smartphones and drive straight to the one they’ve booked. This helps reduce added traffic in the city, since they aren’t hunting for a place to park.
SMART WASTE MANAGEMENT FOR CLEAN STREETS
Sensors are also helping battle the India’s growing trash problem. The city Jamshedpur in the northeast of the country is using a smart waste management system. Sensors in the municipal sewer send a signal when the waste water in the canalization rises. This ensures that cleaning crews arrive to remove any blockages before the sewage is spewed onto the streets. Beside its sewer system, Jamshedpur has also fitted its garbage cans with sensors. When a bin is full, a measurement sensor sends a signal to the sanitation services. This data also enables a more efficient route planning for garbage trucks. The sensors inside the sewer and garbage cans require very little power. An energy-efficient wireless technology like NarrowBand IoT allows the sensors to operate for several years at a time with a single battery charge.
SMART WATER MANAGEMENT FOR CLEAN DRINKING WATER
The Internet of Things is also helping the country supply more clean drinking water to its population. The 12-million-strong metropolis Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) in the southern part of India is the Silicon Valley of the subcontinent. But that’s not always a positive thing: High-tech firms spew industrial waste into the surrounding lakes and garbage is illegally dumped on the water’s edge – sadly common across India. The result is methane in the water, huge foam drifts on the surface and there are mass fish kills. Each day, some 500 million liters of unfiltered waste water flows into the Bellandur Lake – the largest body of water in the region. In an attempt to fix this environmental catastrophe, there need to be strict controls, improved education efforts and higher fines for polluters, as well as continuous monitoring of the local drinking water. The best way to do that is smart deploying smart technologies, so the city Bengaluru has installed sensors at various measurement points of its drinking water treatment system. The networked sensors measure, for example, pH, oxygen and pesticide levels in the drinking water. City authorities then use a centralized dashboard to monitor and analyze the water quality.
IoT Marketing Communication Manager
Pamela Buchwald has been part of the Telekom cosmos since 2016 and is very familiar with the Internet of Things. From general IoT trends to industry know-how and connected mobility, the blog highlights exciting topics related to connected things.