Happy holidays! This is SmartBrief's last publication for 2019. To close out the year, we have selected the most-read stories that have caught readers' attention and informed their workday. Hope you enjoy this special edition, and we look forward to keeping you smart in 2020!
Alphabet has released a 483-page document detailing the technology Sidewalk Labs intends to use in the controversial smart city project in Toronto. The development will include self-driving garbage cans, infrared sensors to track foot traffic in stores, adaptive street design and audio signals to help people who have limited vision.
Apis Cor recently finished what may be the largest 3D printing job ever: a 31-foot-tall building for a Dubai government agency, completed in 21 days. The insulation, roof and windows were traditional, but the walls were printed using sand, cement, gypsum and other materials.
Engineers studying a potential hyperloop connecting Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh concluded the transportation system would create 900,000 jobs and curb CO2 emissions by 143 million tons over the next 25 years. The study also found the operational costs would not require subsidies and that commuting time would be reduced from hours to minutes.
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International companies looking to expand to cities that foster innovation should put Boston at the top of their lists, consulting firm Hickey & Associates says. The firm looked at factors such as education, millennial population, and research and development spending in creating the Global Innovation Hubs list, which includes cities from Beijing to Minneapolis.
New Orleans used data from after the levees failed in 2005 to improve its recovery, and Amsterdam got on the data boat in 2009 when it improved mental health treatment. But the smart city stories haven't all been great: California's efforts to improve public transit in low-income communities increased rents in those areas, and Alphabet's efforts in Toronto did not go as well as the company had hoped.
Cities that want to boost their 5G networks should consider deploying smart LED streetlights, according to networking experts. Public-private partnerships and private investment can help cities fund these connectivity initiatives, which leverage the proximity of LED streetlights to boost 5G network coverage.
Mapping data company Esri and Mobileye are boosting their partnership by incorporating Mobileye's vehicle vision system into the ArcGIS platform to create real-time map updates. "Just like edge computing, this is edge mapping -- using anonymized and generic data captured by vehicle-mounted cameras and computer vision for instant map updates," says Jim Young of Esri.
A Miami-based parking facilities technology company plans to put "ghost kitchens" in parking garages under its Reef Kitchens division. Each kitchen -- intended as a hub for food delivery -- will take up as little as three parking spaces, and Reef will begin by working with established brands to expand their delivery offerings before working with larger brands and eventually creating its own brands, executive Alan Cohen said.
A Colorado company's new robot makes winter more bearable for cities and businesses by clearing snow from sidewalks. The SnowBot Pro relies on a user-generated map with GPS coordinates to follow a given path, and it automatically avoids pedestrians while clearing sidewalks.
Cities facing decisions on the ownership and operation of internet of things networks should look at several models, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says. The agency has released a blueprint that describes the build-and-own model, the subscription/5G model and the public/private partnership model.
Spanish startup Prometeo makes a wearable device for firefighters that monitors air quality, humidity and exposure to heat and smoke. The data is transmitted to a platform that helps field commanders know when to call firefighters in.
Preparation for future challenges requires that cities adopt services and features such as micro-mobility, circular economies and smart spaces, ABI Research says. Circular economies focus on recycling, sharing and self-sufficient energy generation within a city, while smart spaces involve the rethinking of the built environment.