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December 16, 2020

Future infrastructure trends: Smart cities leads Twitter mentions in November 2020

By GlobalData Technology

Verdict lists the top five terms tweeted on future infrastructure in November 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Smart Cities – 167 mentions

Innovation and investments in smart city projects and smart building infrastructure supported by public funding were popularly discussed in November. According to an article shared by Alvin Foo, an emerging tech and marketing evangelist, founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, is setting up the Virgin Hyperloop Certification Centre in West Virginia. The cutting-edge technology not only supports 13,000 jobs in Virginia but is also a part of the smart city initiative, a high-speed transportation system that can reach speeds of more than 965.6km per hour.

The term also trended with respect to large investments being made in smart city projects and smart infrastructure, according to an article shared by Antonio Vieira Santos, a social media business evangelist of Atos, an information technology and services company. Buildings and cities need to be designed to favour mobility for all, the influencer added.

In other discussions, SmartCitiesWorld, a source for smart cities intelligence, shared an article on the global smart hospitals market surpassing $103bn in valuation by 2027. The Covid-19 crisis has created a demand for remote patient monitoring and telehealth services, thereby increasing the need for new applications to create smart hospitals through technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the article noted.

2. Artificial Intelligence – 126 mentions

AI transforming the future of self-driving cars, new roadways and urban highways looking to adapt to driverless vehicles and ecommerce giants resorting to automation were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Dr Ganapthi Pulipaka, a chief data scientist, driverless cars, AI and machine learning driven guided traffic are on the way to becoming a reality to control transport systems and ensure safety. AI is expected to play a key role in enabling automated vehicles operate efficiently, the article added.

Jean-Baptiste Lefevre, a senior consultant and social media influencer, also used the term with respect to the future of roadways, constructions and urban highways, and how they will phenomenally change with the advent of driverless cars. He shared a video depicting how narrow autonomous lanes will be built for driverless vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists will also play a key role in corridor design. For instance, Europeans are pedestrian friendly and their roadways would require more mixed-use, walkable development.

3. IoT – 119 mentions

How companies can create a smart environment by pulling data from different sources and use cases of cellular internet of things (IoT) in advanced automation or smart factories were popularly discussed topics during the month. According to a video shared by Lucian Fogoros, an entrepreneurial software engineer, enterprises can take advantage of Losant, an IoT application enablement platform, to create smart offices, smart campuses and smart buildings.

For instance, the smart environment application of Losant is most useful for companies’ security personnel, operations managers, maintenance and facilities management. Organisations can leverage IoT and data generated by tracking the movement of individuals within their campuses. For example, security personnel can track individuals who enter restricted areas without access, the video elucidated.

In other discussions, Peggy Smedley, an IoT and construction tech expert, shared insights from a discussion on the most interesting use cases of cellular IoT in advanced automation or smart factories. The discussion touches upon how wireless connectivity can have various uses for services and applications and how they can be enhanced to meet the required demands. For instance, the speakers discuss how 2G, 4G and 5G technologies have evolved into cellular IoT and how ultra-low complex systems connect large number of devices to address latency and reliability issues.

4. Mobility – 77 mentions

The unveiling of the first hyperloop passenger test, Ford unveiling plans for mobility innovation around Michigan Central Station and the Michigan State University (MSU) transforming into advanced mobility ecosystem were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Wilko S Wolters, a digital and automotive thought leader, Virgin Hyperloop, a US-based transportation technology company, conducted its first test in Las Vegas carrying two passengers through an airless tube at a speed of 100mph.

The innovative transportation system is one-of-its-kind comprising pods that run through a vacuum environment. The high-speed system, however, is not expected to open to the public in the near future.

Mobility also trended with respect to Ford’s plans for the development of a mobility innovation district around Michigan Central Station, according to an article shared by Smart Cities World, a centralised source for smart city initiatives. The site plan is expected to include a unique mobility testing platform and open areas, apart from biking trails and abundant green spaces, the article noted.

In other discussions, Cyril Coste, a digital transformation expert and B2B influencer, shared an article on how the MSU is converting its 5,200-acre campus into an advanced mobility ecosystem to test how emerging technologies such as 5G and automated vehicle systems can boost smart mobility solutions. MSU is also focusing on sociomobility, that is, understanding how individual and societal factors impact transport systems, the article detailed.

5. 5G – 74 mentions

The future of 5G network infrastructure and edge computing and 5G acting as a catalyst for transformation in the manufacturing sector were popularly discussed in November. According to an article shared by Daniel Newman, principal analyst and founder partner at Futurum Research, organisations’ demand for faster networks and access to data has increased network transformations through 5G network build out and edge computing.

According to Newman, it is a critical moment for network transformation, where communication providers will offer new AI-based edge services. Consequently, AI will permeate through the cloud, data centre, and more.

5G also trended in terms of smart factory benefitting from the technology, according to an article shared by Yves Mulkers, a data strategist. This next generation wireless technology is not only being tapped by telecommunication companies but by the manufacturing sector as well. It is expected to revolutionise the smart factory or Industry 4.0 by shifting from legacy architecture to connected technologies, the article detailed.

5G networks will not only replace wired connections in industrial automation, but also allow flexibility through real time analysis and collection of data and predictive analytics. The technology will enhance mobility across supply chains and facilitate training and supervision of the staff, the article further noted.