Consumers Love Smart Cities

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A new research called the Smart Cities Consumer Research Study found strong consumer acceptance of smart city technologies. But only after the idea was explained to them.

The study was conducted with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Advanced Grid Research, Silver Spring Networks and Power Over Energy.

Respondents were representative of the U.S. Census, ranging from ages 18 to 65+ (52 per cent female, 48 per cent male), and from all areas of the country including New England, Mid Atlantic, Mountain, Pacific, South East, and various areas of the central U.S.

A majority of respondents (47 per cent) lived in cities with populations of more than 100,000, 14 per cent of which currently reside in major metropolitan areas of more than one million people.

The study uncovered some surprising results, the most intriguing of which include:

  • When educated about the benefits of smart cities, 75 per cent of respondents think smart city technology would have a positive impact on their lives, with only 3 per cent stating they believe smart city technology would have a negative impact.
  • 65 per cent of participants are interested in living with smart city technology.
  • Positive sentiment for smart cities is highest among millennials (83 per cent) vs. those in 65+ age group (60 per cent).
  • 50 per cent of participants expect smart city technology to directly impact their daily life within the next 0 to 3 years.
  • Smart street lights are the most well-known smart city application; public safety is considered the most important benefit of smart street lights.
  • Reducing pollution and improvements to public safety were considered the top two benefits, respectively, of smart city technology.

Dan Evans, Senior Director, Smart Cities and Street Lighting, Silver Spring Networks said, “In speaking with city leaders across the globe, we have found that understanding the needs and wants of their citizens around smart city technology is of utmost importance.”

“Our findings will help bolster the efforts that cities and utilities are championing, such as smart street lights—the most well-known smart city application—and reducing pollution and public safety, identified as the top two benefits of smart city technology in the study.”

He said energy and city leaders in Chicago, Florida, Copenhagen, Paris, and London have paved the way for smart city applications through their prescient street lighting programs connected through Silver Spring’s IoT platform.

“What we found most interesting about the study is the younger generation’s desire to live in smart cities,” said Marina Donovan, VP of Marketing, Silver Spring Networks.

“Adoption rates of smart city technologies are quickly on the rise and the next big wave is upon us. There is clearly a need, and opportunity, to educate consumers of all age groups about the benefits and positive impacts of smart city technology. Together, Silver Spring Networks and Power Over Energy, will continue to make a concerted effort to educate citizens globally about the benefits that smart cities have to offer.”