Disruptive Technology – Its Impact On Urbanization

It is seldom been said that Necessity is the mother of all inventions. The human race has evolved significantly over the years – more so in the past two decades. This lead to a significant amount of population to migrate from tinsel towns to urban areas – a paradigm shift also termed as Urbanization.

With urbanization, we have access to better infrastructure, better amenities, and very importantly – an improved quality in all spheres of our lives. This is something which is lacking at the rural front.

It is only imperative to say that Technology has certainly changed and redefined the way we lead our lives. The impact of westernisation and the subsequent influence in the various technological advancements on developing countries like India has been immense in all aspects.

That the advancements in technology have paved way for better socio-economic lifestyle will only be an understatement.

Disruptive Technology or Disruptive Innovation on the other hand refers to the concept of replacing the existing technology either with an enhancement or with an entirely new piece of the same. Disruptive Innovation drives Urbanization. The key elements that drive Urbanization are: Budget, Return on Investment, Time, and Man-Power. These key elements when monitored efficiently will have a direct impact on the overall economy.

In a developing nation like India, which is abundant with its natural resources, Disruptive Innovation strikes the right balance on socio-economic aspects both at rural and urban fronts. Especially in the decade gone by, there has been some path-breaking advancement in Medicine, Transport, and Security.

It is very important to first understand that the impact of Disruptive Innovation varies between developed and developing countries.

The application of Disruptive Technology to Urbanization involves a lot of Research and Development (R&D) into the existing system at source. This R&D would help the organisation or the team to learn more on the technology in place, its shortcomings with respective to the current market situation, its efficiency in performance from the customers or end users, and the market share it brings to the table.

Smaller organisations are increasingly willing to take that extra risk in implementing a new technology as they come along, and contribute to their economy. Larger organisations on the other hand are slightly reluctant to implementing it right-away as they look it from an entirely different angle when compared to smaller organisations

Smart Lighting – The Solution

It’s estimated that as much as 40% of city energy budgets are spent on outdoor lighting and that a single street light can emit 200 kg of CO2 each year. Increasingly, cities need to save energy or do more with less energy, reduce carbon emissions, lower operating and maintenance costs, and comply with tighter government regulations.

Why do we need Smart Lighting?

Not just above, even Light pollution, also known as luminous pollution is becoming an increasing problem for the cities. Light Pollution is the excessive, use of artificial outdoor lighting, which alters the color and contrast of the nighttime sky, eclipses natural starlight, and disrupts circadian rhythms – the 24-hour process of various organisms

This affects the environment, energy resources, and wildlife. The threat of light pollution continues to grow as the demand for artificial light increases each year.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) estimated that excessive nighttime lighting releases more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide, the most serious greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere each year. It would take nearly 702 million trees to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by wasted light.

Energy Resources:
Wasted light results in energy waste, obviously. A 2007 IDA study estimated that 30% of all light emitted by public outdoor light fixtures is wasted, which amounts to 22 Terawatt Hours (TWh)/year of wasted electrical energy. This is equivalent to the following:

  • About 3.6 million tons of coal per year
  • About 12.9 million barrels of oil per year

The total amount of wasted electrical energy each year is enough to illuminate over 11 million homes and power over 777,000 cars! Now, these are huge numbers.

Light pollution affects the feeding, sleeping, mating, and migration cycles of all wildlife.

For all these reasons, better-managed lighting and lighting control top most cities’ priority lists.

Smart Lighting – The Solution
A smart lighting solution creates Light Sensory Networks that transform LED light fixtures into sensor-equipped, smart devices that are just not capable of capturing and transmitting data in near real time, but allows the administrators to control and manage them remotely. Example, the lamps can be turned on whenever needed and turned off after a short time, remotely.

The sensors/ smart devices provide unprecedented actionable insights and help to enable an array of applications and services for cities, citizens, and businesses. These insights can help administrators to understand and predict the timings for the lamps to be switched on or off daily and the system should be able to do the same automatically.

In addition to the above, cities are exploring Smart City applications and the use of lighting to boost safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

Whatsoever, the energy savings and lighting optimization are the primary drivers for lighting upgrades, this solution focuses on improving management of lighting, energy, and maintenance for all light fixtures on the network. These applications can be accessed securely through a web browser to set such controls as occupancy-based dimming, daylight harvesting, copper-theft alerting, energy usage, savings reporting, and real-time maintenance status.

Apart from energy savings, below are few more benefits of deploying smart lighting in a city:

  • Ability to free up energy according to demand
  • Lower ongoing maintenance and inventory costs through remote identification of lamp failures, preventive maintenance, and the use of lower-wattage, longer-lasting street lights
  • Improved public safety and satisfaction due to reduced lamp downtime, less light pollution, and better overall lighting quality
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • Reduced light pollution
  • Rapid detection of electricity theft and leakage



Vehicle type and Pollutant Emission

Vehicle pollution is the introduction of harmful material into the environment by motor vehicles and has become a major source of pollution in many areas.

The health risks of air pollution are extremely serious. Poor air quality increases respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis, heightens the risk of life-threatening conditions like cancer, and burdens our health care system with substantial medical costs. Particulate matter is singlehandedly responsible for up to 30,000 premature deaths each year.

The ingredients of air pollution

Cars and trucks produce air pollution throughout their life, including pollution emitted during vehicle operation, refueling, manufacturing, and disposal. Additional emissions are associated with the refining and distribution of vehicle fuel.

These materials, known as pollutants, have several bad effects on human health and the ecosystem.Traffic pollution causes a significant increase in carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or hydrocarbons (HCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM).

Increasing duration of road congestion is leading to an increase in the emission levels, which in turn increases pollution and degrade the air quality.

Introduction to the study

In the present analysis, we have used COPERT model (Computation Of Pollutant Emission from Road Transport) to determine the contribution to emission by vehicle type (2W: Two-Wheelers, HDV: Heavy Duty Vehicles, LDV: Light Duty Vehicles, PC: Passenger Cars) in different running conditions.

The following analyses were done for CO (Carbon monoxide), the most hazardous pollutant.

Two stroke Engine vs Four Stroke Engine Emission level

First, let’s have a look at the difference in the emission levels of a two-stroke engine vehicle and a four-stroke vehicle. Below is the plot of Emission in gram/vehicle/km for two-stroke vs four-stroke two-wheelers, at several speeds.

At lower speed, vehicle emissions are higher which is an established fact. The four-stroke engine emits 50% less pollutant which further decreases to 20% as compared to the two-stroke engine. For both the kind of engines, the emission decreases with an increase in speed in the given range, but the emissions are overall more in case of the two-stroke engine. 

In India, 78% of all registered vehicles are two-wheelers which are all two-stroke engines.

Comparison of emission by different vehicle type

Using COPERT model, we estimated the emission levels of different vehicle types at different speeds: HDV (slope 0, load 100%), IDV (diesel), PC (gasoline 4 stroke), 2W (gasoline 2 stroke)

The biggest culprits in spreading pollutions are the heavy-duty vehicles and two-wheelers. Given the fact that 78% of all registered vehicle in India are two-wheelers,  they are the major source of pollutant emissions.

Emission from Vehicle compliance with Euro -3 and Euro – 4

Next, we calculated emission level by vehicles compliance with euro -3 and euro – 4 at various speeds.

For Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV), expected emission reduction is 50% by moving from euro-3 to euro-4 standard. For light-duty vehicle (LDV) similar reduction is not so significant but almost 70% reduction is expected in the personal vehicle (PC) segment.


  • This analysis had been done for different vehicle type and their pollution impact. As mentioned above as well, congestion can increase the pollution levels as high congestion level cause reduce traffic flow.
  • All vehicle types emit 2X more pollutant at a lower speed than the higher speed. Two wheelers are a major source of emission and some kind of regulation  is certainly required to curb pollution via them
  • Euro – 4 compliant vehicles emit 50% less pollutant compared to euro-3 compliant vehicles.
  • An initiative should be taken by the authorities to reduce euro – 3 compliant vehicles and move all the vehicles to euro-4 complaints or higher will further help reduce air pollution in the urban area.

The above basic analysis of vehicle type and the emission standards can give us an idea and lay the foundation for building sophisticated pollution models for the upcoming cities.


Air pollution level very high in Bengaluru, walkers and open vehicles worst hit

How Traffic Jams Affect Air Quality



Move over Smart Cities – Is it time for India to launch a Smart Slums Mission?

While the India Smart Cities Mission is a bold, timely and much-needed initiative, there is a deeper crisis brewing for a large section of the population that lives in hundreds of slums across every city in India. To understand this more succinctly, let’s have a look at the below infographic:
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Smart Parking Solution for Smart Cities

Smart Parking is a term that just cannot be missed if the talk is about smart cities.It is one of the most important, as well as one of the most basic solutions required in the implementation of a smart city. But what actually smart parking is. According to the common conception, it is a solution that involves the use of sensors to track the availability of parking spaces.

But is the solution of Smart Parking limited to that? Or is there more to it? No solution is ever perfect they say, there is always a scope of innovation.

Now the basic question that arises is – Is there really a need for smart parking? And the answer is yes, there is, definitely. Because the search for parking in busy urban centers is frustrating for the driver and it certainly intensifies congestion on the roads, which further leads to increase in pollution from circling cars. All this amounts to a lot of wastage of fuel and investment and money and that is what below infographic talks about

Smart parking optimizes the parking space effectively, which further leads to the improvement of the efficiency of parking operations.

The data gathered from parking sensors can not only enable real-time way finding but can also be used for predictive analytics. Like, the prediction of parking for the next few days. And once, the equation of prediction is brought in, the scope becomes unlimited.

The data can help in pre-determining the optimized price of a parking spot. A bit of cross vertical data added to it can really make it advance and smart. Imagine the power of a solution that can predict the parking and the price of a parking spot not just based on the old data but also, according to the weather conditions, road conditions, near by events or just by traffic intensity.

But how would citizens benefit from the same? Because after all, it’s the citizens that are the end customers.

The citizens can search for parking spaces based on point of interest or preferences in advance via a mobile app, can book the space and can also make the payments in advance. Now, isn’t that so convenient?

Cities on the other hand lower vehicle miles traveled and carbon emissions improving the environment, can help in improving the parking utilization and therefore, optimizing parking revenue through dynamic pricing

By using this common infrastructure, cities can reduce the cost and service fees associated with traditional parking deployments using existing parking structures in malls or public parking lots, for instance, to offset street parking shortages.

Now, the next step in smart parking that all the experts in the industry are pondering upon is – can smart parking be done without deploying sensors, because that would lower the cost spent on infrastructure. In fact, there are many solutions as well which are being considered like monitoring the parking via cameras. These cameras can also be used for Traffic and safety and security purpose. So, it will be a shared cost between various verticals.

Or probably if somehow, cities can motivate their citizens to be a part of it and start intimating the administrators whenever they occupy a parking spot by simply using a mobile app.

Smart parking – with or without sensors is definitely the need of the hour. It is required to optimize city’s operations

Smart Cities: Whys, hows and whats

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Network Infrastructure for Smart Cities

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Autonomous City Management with Urban Analytics – Hype or Reality?

Imagine this scenario – It’s a little after 2 pm and there is a major music concert happening later in the evening with large crowds expected to gather at the venue and surrounding downtown areas of the city. As the event draws closer, the city manager is in the city operations control center viewing the action on a large dashboard screen. He observes traffic density growing on the main roads leading into the city center that could cause congestion and traffic snarls.
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Urban Analytics

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) based approach towards efficient City Management

The world is undergoing an unprecedented pace of urbanization, and if present trends continue, the world urban population will rise by about 72% in the next 4 decades. While the reasons for this rapid urban expansion are many, it is primarily driven by two entities with complementary needs: cities, on one end, to attract the best-skilled people and enterprises; and people, on the other end, by their preference to migrate to cities that provide a better quality of life.
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Open Data, Data Science and Benefits For Government Operations

The government, through legitimate processes, collects a substantial amount of data about people, properties, licenses, crimes, public health and a wide variety of other entities. With the onset of IoT and increasing digitalization of government processes, almost everything can be measured, monitored and networked. Such data from different sources can be combined and “mashed up to produce new insights and new businesses.

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