You No Longer Have to Imagine a Smart City

In the future, we will live and work in smart cities where technology and infrastructure are equals. 

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A building’s beams and walls will be as integral to the building’s function as the technology flowing through it.These are four technologies engineers are developing right now that will influence the way smart cities are created. 



The first component necessary to build a smart city is energy.

A smart city won’t just use energy from a power plant a few miles away like the cities of today. It will find energy everywhere—from sunlight, wind, rain, waves, heat and even motion. In the future, buildings, roads and other infrastructure will double as our power plants. 

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Smart cities will also use every last drop of energy as efficiently as possible. With smart energy storage, we will be able to save power until it’s needed and smart meters and networked sensors will be able to optimize electricity distribution in real-time, making energy waste a thing of the past.

Once powered, the smart city increases safety for its citizens through sensors.

Sensors already play a critical role on today’s ships and aircraft to identify and address maintenance issues. In the future, we will be able to implement sensors on trains, self-driving cars and subways to ensure maintenance issues are solved before they even become a problem.

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These sensors will create large amounts of data for the smart city to process, which makes efficient data analytics a necessary part of smart cities.

In a smart city, machines will process and analyze data faster than ever to help people make decisions and take action. 

Data meets an important need in smart cities – the need to respond efficiently to changes. For example, we can use data to monitor population growth. If the smart city is gathering data that shows a large group of people are downtown (say, for a concert), and it also has data that the temperature outside is dangerously warm, the smart city can send more first responders to the area before they’re needed. 

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Lastly, once the city is powered, safe and informed, it needs logistics.

Logistics are the lifeblood of any operation and keep things running smoothly. They will be even more crucial for smart cities. It might not sound glamorous, but think of how important it is—logistics guarantee people have supplies they need in the right place at the right time.

Smart cities may seem like they’re a distant future, but at Lockheed Martin, we’re engineering the technologies that bring them closer every day.


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