Smart metering, surveillance to dominate IoT smart city industry, says research firm

Smart utility metering (power, gas, water) and video surveillance will remain by far the largest smart city segment, with the number of connections representing 87% of the total number of smart city connections by 2026, according to ABI Research’s Smart Cities market data report.

While metering is mainly focused on usage monitoring, savings and efficient operation of utility networks, video surveillance is no longer just about security and crime detection and prevention. Video surveillance is increasingly enabling new applications like urban tolling and emission zones to reduce air pollution, mainly in Europe, by using license plate recognition to identify older vehicles banned from entering these zones and more general safety applications like pedestrian detection and alerts.

While surveillance cameras with embedded AI computing capabilities are already being deployed, low latency 5G connectivity will enable real-time local response management in the future by leveraging more powerful (edge) cloud-based AI capabilities.

 “Metering and surveillance are increasingly augmented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies to enable use cases such as preventive maintenance and advanced machine vision safety and security applications,” says Dominique Bonte, Vice President End Markets at ABI Research.

“AI is increasingly deployed for preventive maintenance (prognostics), water leak detection and other anomalies, demand-response solutions, traffic management, and vulnerable road user safety.”

More generally, both metering and surveillance IoT connectivity are increasingly being embedded in the wider strategies and concepts of resilience and circularity, respectively transcending the narrower focus around safety/security and sustainability. To that extent, their inclusion in urban modeling and digital twins will enable advanced monitoring, scenario testing, and optimization of all urban operational systems through real-time digital replicas as well as advancing resilience and circular economy agendas.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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