CXO Bytes

The Evolution of Cities – How Automation is Taking Over the World


With the discovery of the fire dating back thousands of years ago, here we are in the modern era of technological advancements; we have come a long way. Technology has embedded in our lives in various ways – from an alarm clock that wakes you up earlier if there’s traffic to a remote control that you can use to do just about everything—from calling someone to dimming the lights in a room. Initially, it started from just one room, slowly spread to our home, and now it’s rapidly moving towards smarter cities. Today, cities worldwide have been designed to improve the core infrastructure and enhance the quality of life.


We are conquering the gap between the real and virtual world with the help of IoT and AI-based automation. Technological advancements have led to the evolution of cities from lanterns to solar-powered LED bulbs and carriages to electric automobiles. This is the age of automation and is taking over the world. Automation is at the centre of almost all ventures that aim to improve urban life, and governments worldwide have realized it. Cities like San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai, Tokyo and Seoul are already the test beds for experimenting with the automation of various public services varying from smart transportation to automated post offices and even automated OPDs. On the other hand, businesses and brands are experimenting with automated drone delivery systems for medicines, food and other essential products. Automation of cities aims to simplify the redundant processes of everyday life and achieve machine-like governance all at once.


While we have witnessed rapid urbanization in the developed cities, the thriving cities were struggling for better infrastructure and amenities like better transportation, adequate water supply, communication, and efficient sources of light and energy. But with the evolution of technology, we have seen a massive change in the infrastructure facilities, for instance, from manual number plate recognition to high-security number plate recognition and now smart number plate recognition; we have come a long way. Technological innovations have slowly changed the dimensions of developing cities.


There is increasing adoption of automation, IoT and AI in developing countries like India as they focus on the dire need to enhance the standard of living. For instance, the government of India has launched an innovative initiative called  Smart Cities Mission, intending to build smart infrastructure and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology to create innovative outcomes for citizens. This initiative will act as a catalyst for building efficient urban mobility and public transport systems, including Number Plate Recognition (LPR), automating toll plazas and implementing surveillance systems at intersections and highways. Additionally, to improve waste management, the government of India, under its initiative, plans to install robust sensors in waste bins and containers with an aim to measure the fill level, no matter what has been deposited inside. This leads to handling less waste on a daily basis along with optimized fuel expense. Furthermore, to provide an adequate water supply, an advanced sensor system has been set up to gauge the soil’s moisture content, provide a precise amount of water, and help conserve water.


With the Government initiatives being newly introduced, it is still early days as automation is taking place in fits and starts racing ahead in some regions while being stagnant in others. Yet it is safe to say that automation is here to stay for a long time. In the future, one can expect a world where even the simplest day-to-day activity will involve automation you drove an electric car to your office, your speed limit will be monitored through smart sensors when you are on your way back home, smart street lamps can detect luminosity for their surrounding and adjust the brightness accordingly, and when you reach home, there’s a package delivered by drone.

(The author is Mr. Pranesh Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, Zunpulse and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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