In a new report, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that investment in smart city initiatives will reach $81bn (~€69.2bn) in 2018.
According to the report, a number of cities are already powering the rapid growth of investment in smart city initiatives, and with more cities joining in global efforts to introduce new, smarter innovations, spending could reach as much as $158bn by 2022, according to the report.
The current volume of spending on smart city technologies is being driven by a handful of cities, including Tokyo, Japan, London, UK, and New York City, USA. IDC’s estimate takes into account the sectors of smart cities which are currently priorities for many cities, and those which are set to grow over the next four years, to estimate exactly which factors are contributing to the growth in investment.
Which smart city sectors are attracting the most investment?
The three areas which will be see the greatest volume of investment in 2018 will be fixed visual surveillance, advanced public transport technologies, and smart outdoor lighting; together, these three sectors account for one quarter of investment.
By focusing on these sectors, cities can create a baseline infrastructure upon which to build further innovations; for example, a recent project to install smart lighting in Edinburgh, Scotland, will also install sensors to collect data, powering future smart inventions.
How will this change over the next four years?
By 2022, investment in intelligent traffic management systems is expected to grow dramatically, with this sector replacing smart lighting in third position on the list. The top three sectors will account for only one fifth of total investment in smart city initiatives as the market and demand for smart technologies continues to grow.
The fastest growth is expected in sectors such as wearable technologies for law enforcement officers, as well as devices which will allow vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and sensors, as part of a push towards autonomous transport.