By Vishal Saurav
India began its Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 to improve the infrastructure and bring about a transformation in the country within five years. Since then, cities in India have made remarkable progress while Covid-19 paved the way towards trying and adopting new technology and strategies.
Few cities across India had set up Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) to collect data on food and shelter availability, including location and contact information of food distribution, shelter homes, and kitchens. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which create, analyze, and map data, we were able to keep track of the pattern of movements, identify the Covid-19 pandemic in real-time, assign frontline personnel, and ramp up emergency services. The deployment of GIS in India during the pandemic and the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as Drones have demonstrated the potential of location technology, scalability, speed, and capacity to recognize trends that have been effective in our fight against Covid-19.
Moreover, drones can assist address the growing need for enhanced city security and safety by identifying and reporting infringements in real-time and by increasing nighttime patrols. If the DGCA finalizes new drone delivery legislation, India’s drone sector might increase by 18% annually. Drones and smart cities can increase a country’s operational effectiveness and quality of life. We believe this is given the existing scenario and global changes. As part of India’s smart city program, more than 100 cities are earmarked for smart city development. It’s a good idea to test UAVs in India. Technology can help India create smarter cities, despite its modest progress.
Drone mapping amplifies GIS management
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are transforming smart city operations by lowering the cost of geospatial surveying and geographic information systems (GIS). It used to take weeks and months for a surveyor to manually complete a land survey, but now the process can be completed in less than an hour. For India to create new or transform existing cities into smart cities, the use of drones is essential. Using the most advanced technology, UAVs can instantly collect extremely precise data and provide that data to planners in an aggregated, analyzed, and comprehensive form. They’re deployed in everything from asset management to delivery route programming. There is a tremendous possibility for UAVs in the smart city program because of recent breakthroughs in cloud computing, AI, wireless sensors, networked unmanned systems, big data, and the Internet of Things. Using drones to examine infrastructure projects including solar and wind energy projects, construction of highways and bridges has proved to be a synergistic application in India.
Drone technology, like GIS, makes it possible to map enormous areas quickly and cheaply, making it a potential alternative to satellite images. Drones, when used in conjunction with location intelligence, can improve logistics, mapping, and data collection, all of which are essential to the success of a smart city. Drones can be used to aid in the creation and maintenance of smart cities by including geographical characteristics in their data mapping.
GPS-enabled drones soar
Managing cities in the 21st century necessitates the addition of another dimension – height. Smart city planning relies on a 3D map of the city, which can only be created by converting drone data into precise information.
3D maps are precise depictions of city centers with coordinated data layers and properties. Smart cities use 3D maps for land distribution, emergency response, sustainability evaluations, and infrastructure development. They gather high-definition location data and real-time map data so city developers, legislators, and public agencies may make data-driven decisions.
Crowd control and smart security
A smart city needs smart policing to improve security and crowd management. Drones with high zoom and thermal cameras assist law enforcement agencies to monitor an area of interest and deliver real-time information to numerous security teams. Drone air units can monitor ground conditions with real-time data before police ground units arrive. Real-time information enhances situational awareness and, in an emergency, reduces reaction time and boosts police efficiency.
Smart disaster monitoring and control
India’s unique climate and topography make it prone to natural calamities that wreak death and destruction. Floods, droughts, cyclones, avalanches, earthquakes, and landslides strike every year. Using drones during natural catastrophes like floods, famines, or storms can give authorities an edge in crisis mapping, search and rescue, cargo transfer, and relief drops. Drones can monitor the situation and help take precautions to safeguard lives and property.
Drones equipped with predictive analytics software can create contextual geographical data to boost environmental conservation programs and map natural resources and animal populations.
Weather forecast and Smart Waste Management
Weather instruments installed on drones can monitor shifting weather patterns and living conditions in cities. Ecological surveys, policy choices, and environmental sustainability rely on such data.
In India, the gap between waste generation, collection, and treatment is expanding. Drones can provide 3D maps of landfills to show how they are changing, which might be beneficial for government authorities. This data can aid with toxic dumping, rubbish disposal, treatment, employee safety, and environmental dangers. Waste managers can use AI and location intelligence to promote good practices through public awareness campaigns.
Building smarter cities using drones
Drone technology won’t disappear soon. Drones can help cities use location data for road repair, 5G network design, and mapping. As technology advances quickly, the manned flight will be superseded by unmanned flight, and all passenger and cargo aircraft will be optionally piloted. The Netherlands has successfully delivered emergency medical services via drones to patients in crisis. Now India is considering transferring organs for transplant by drones and is researching approaches to set up hospital roofs as drone ports to receive medical goods.
The Ministry of Defense has solicited industry feedback to assist establish Drone testing facilities around India as part of Prime Minister Modi’s Vision 2024. Such a center will help manufacturers, service providers, software developers, and sensor manufacturers test and validate their goods before they hit the market. This was the biggest drone missing connection. Unmanned systems will soon be ubiquitous.
The latest drone guidelines in India suggest the government is taking the correct step by rewarding R&D and cultivating public-private collaborations, while leveraging its engineering skills to expedite the acceptance of drone technology, unlocking long-term commercial feasibility toward becoming a smart city.
(The author is CEO & Founder of VFLYX India and XBOOM Utilities. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited).