From Aeris: "How India is Realizing its IoT Potential"
India is the second largest country by population, boasts the world’s fastest growing economy, and is the largest sourcing destination for information technology (IT) services. In their report, Perspective 2025: Shaping the Digital Revolution, NASSCOM and collaborator McKinsey & Company estimate that 80% of incremental expenditures in India’s IT industry between now and 2025 will be driven by digital technologies that play a large hand in IoT connectivity: platforms, cloud-based applications, big data analytics, mobile systems, social media, cybersecurity, and legacy tech integration services. As both local startups and global tech giants look to capitalize on India’s IoT potential, government-backed programs and technology initiatives, such as Digital India, are spurring industry-wide growth aimed at addressing the unique needs of consumers and the specific requirements of businesses in the country.
To capitalize on India’s growing economy and to meet the needs of its population and industry, IoT developers must tailor their product offerings to provide effective connectivity solutions that satisfy both economic and lifestyle requirements.
Determining the Needs of the Indian Smart City
In 2015, the Government of India launched Smart Cities Mission, an initiative designed to develop 100 cities across the country into citizen-friendly, sustainable communities. Smart Cities Missions’ infrastructure improvements hope to address problems with India’s crowded urban areas and place a majority of its large cities on the cutting edge of smart city development. To achieve these goals, Smart Cities Mission has published a list of guidelines for cities to follow that will bring them in line with the government’s vision of a smart city.
Under the guidelines of Smart Cities Mission, a smart city must provide:
- Management of utilities using smart meters
- Renewable energy sources and energy efficient / green construction
- IoT-enabled water systems to monitor water quality, identify leaks, and make predictive maintenance recommendations
- Recycling, composting, and other waste services to reduce landfill waste
- Electronic access to government services to promote citizen engagement
In addition to these utility and service initiatives, Smart Cities Mission hopes to increase urban mobility by backing smart parking solutions and intelligent traffic management with integrated multi-modal public transport. To help achieve these traffic management goals and relieve some of the congestion in dense urban areas, local companies are offering services aimed at taking more cars off the road and helping commuters make better use of their travel time.
Enhanced Ride Sharing with Infotainment and Productivity Tools
According to a report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), congestion costs from fuel waste, reduced productivity, air pollution, and accidents in four major Indian cities total $22 billion USD annually. Underdeveloped public transportation and predominant reliance on personal vehicles are the main contributors to this congestion, but the advent of ride-sharing platforms in recent years is beginning to have a positive effect. As peak traffic times see congestion jump an average 149% in urban areas, ride-sharing companies are looking to provide enhanced riding experiences to maximize customers’ time during rides.
In 2016, Indian ride sharing giant Ola launched the Ola Play service, which provides a connected car experience through a touchscreen console that accesses consumer services, such as entertainment and shopping. A year later, Ola partnered with Microsoft with the goal of providing a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers worldwide. Ola Play is seeking to transform both driver and passenger experiences by utilizing Microsoft’s AI, IoT, and Azure cloud platform technologies to provide vehicle diagnostics, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, and other connected car services.
IoT-enabled Bike Sharing Provides a Viable Alternative Transportation Option
Major traffic jams in dense urban areas are driving some professionals to turn to the bicycle as a more viable mode of transportation. In addition to using bikes to sidestep traffic problems, health and environment-conscious Indians are driving the promotion of pedaling options as a market for IoT innovation. To capitalize on the growing momentum of bicycle popularity, startups like Mobycy have entered the space, offering bike sharing solutions tailored for the urban lifestyle.
Mobycy is a dockless bike sharing app that allows its customers to bike anywhere they want with a quick release (QR), code-enabled bike lock. Users simply find a bicycle through the app, unlock it with a QR code, and lock it back up in an accessible location when they’ve reached their destination. This freedom from reliance on docking stations to pick up and return bicycles provides Mobycy users with an optimal mobility solution for bike sharing. Whereas other bike sharing services are limited by requiring bicycles to be picked up and dropped off at specific docking locations, Mobycy cyclists can locate a nearby bike when they need one and return it to the nearest curbside.
What Does an Indian Smart City Look Like?
IoT has enormous potential to affect every aspect of Indian society, from smart utilities that help reduce the country’s carbon footprint to infrastructure upgrades and transportation services aimed at reducing urban waste and congestion. These IoT initiatives, along with a myriad of others being explored or supported by the Government of India and by companies large and small, are poised to bring India to the forefront of the connected lifestyle. With continued investment in IoT technology, smart city infrastructure, and optimized public and alternative transportation options, India is on track to reach the ultimate goal of Digital India and Smart Cities Mission: a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy that is energy efficient, sustainable, continually growing, business friendly, and improving the daily lives of Indian citizens.
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