Significance of Smart Poles in Modern Architecture
Smart poles, unlike traditional street light poles that serve only a single purpose of providing road safety, consist of LED lighting, cameras, high-speed internet connectivity, and an electric vehicle charging system. Moreover, smart multi-pole systems are also equipped with sensors, IT communication devices, and other elements to gather and share information.
Smart poles constitute the smart cities that are constantly adapting to the world of hi-tech innovations to improve operational efficiency and share information with the citizens and enhance the quality of services. The continuous development of LEDs, communication, sensors, control, IT, and other technologies has made the modern concept of smart poles take over the traditional lighting industry. Smart street light poles use their two chief features- power supply system and location, to integrate several other functions, including the Internet of Things (IoT), to form a multi-pole system.
As per a detailed report published by Research Dive, the global smart pole market is estimated to register a revenue of $20,739.1 million in the 2021-2028 forecast timeframe and grow at a handsome CAGR of 16.7%. Considering this substantial growth rate, it is evident that the new smart pole concept would be further adapted by countries to advance towards upliftment.
Now that we know that the smart pole market is here to stay, let’s learn about the significance or uses of smart poles along with their advantages and possible challenges.
What is a Smart Pole? What are Its Purposes?
A smart pole is a simple light pole that is highly equipped with intelligent LED lighting, a camera, an electric vehicle charging system, and high-speed internet connectivity. The LED lighting greatly reduces electricity consumption, enhances the operational and maintenance of controlling utility, and reduces carbon footprints contributed by the previous sodium streetlights. Camera is utilized for facial and vehicle recognition, license plate reader, zoom onboard memory/video storing capacity, and deep data analytics.
Besides the above-mentioned uses of single units of a smart pole, some other purposes are as follows:
- Pedestrian Safety
Smart lighting poles are spaced out evenly that effectively helps in providing safety and security to those on the road. Not just eliminating blind spots and determining criminal activities, smart poles can also alert drivers of other hazards like extra-large buildings, shrubs, or tress.
- Information Gathering
A smart pole also acts like a small hub for gathering information through its sensors and databases about city services and businesses. Moreover, since poles have cameras, video surveillance for traffic monitoring, sensors for mass transit, and information kiosks can also be enabled.
- Aesthetics to the Open Space
A smart pole not only does its monitoring job well, but also adds an aesthetic touch to the surrounding space. They might also blend perfectly with business areas or historic infrastructures depending on the design.
What are the Applications of Smart Poles?
Smart street poles integrate the innovative hi-tech technologies for the applications listed below:
- Video monitoring and management
- Advertising screen broadcast control systems
- Live monitoring of residential areas
- Emergency call system
- Charging pile system
What are the Challenges of Installing Smart Poles?
Despite several government initiatives to switch to the modern smart pole lighting system, there are some challenges that this concept has in its path to success. A few of the potential challenges are as follows:
- Since the structure of current light poles is simple and has only a single function, adding accessories for further functions will be difficult.
- Installation and maintenance costs of smart poles is very high.
The Bottom Line
The innovative concept of smart pole perfectly fits in with the current trend of rapid development of technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and building smart cities. Integrating smart street poles with multiple functions opens door to new ideas to the modern construction style. However, the switch from traditional lighting poles to smart pole systems still must face a series of challenges to unlock its pathway to widespread success and adoption.
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