Governments across APAC rely on smart city technologies to fight COVID-19, says GlobalData

Countries across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are implementing smart city technologies such as smart surveillance along with data hub system for advanced contact tracing of COVID-19 infected citizens, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Manish Chaurasiya, Senior Technology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Though the spread of COVID-19 has hindered the roll-out of large-scale smart city projects in the region, it has resulted in vendors and local governments accelerating the roll-out of smart city technologies with advanced healthcare infrastructure.”

Smart cities in countries like Korea, India, Japan and China have demonstrated the power of smart city technologies to battle against COVID-19 by sanitizing the infected area with drones, facial recognition payment, delivery of essential goods through drones, tele-video consultation facilities, COVID-19 related data dashboard, and robots for disinfecting premises as well as visitors at the premises.

Mr Chaurasiya continues: “Recently, the smart cities segment has been witnessing numerous strategic partnerships among vendors to use key capabilities to deliver robust solutions. For instance, in May 2020, RoboSense LiDAR partnered with DT Mobile for the deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solution in Xiong’an New Area, Hebei, China. Earlier in March 2020, India-based Infosys partnered with US-based Qualcomm to offer smart city solutions.”

Smart city initiatives in the region are expected to be the prime driver for growth in smart cities spending in the forecast period. However, some of these would be delayed owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, Vietnam started building a new smart city in Dong Anh district in northern Hanoi in late 2019, with an estimated US$4.2bn. It is expected to be fully operational by 2028. Japan-based Sumitomo and Vietnamese developer BRG Group are involved in developing the project.

India added five more cities under Smart Cities Mission in February 2020 to the earlier planned 100 cities which was started in 2015. Furthermore, the government pushed the project timeline to 2023 from 2020.

Mr Chaurasiya concludes: “The smart cities segment is expected to bear the brunt of COVID-19 pandemic for the next 1-2 years. However, factors like new technology initiatives, PPP partnerships between vendors and governments, the use of smart city technologies to combat COVID-19 are likely to have a positive impact on the industry in the upcoming years.”

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