The 1939 «World of Tomorrow» fair in NYC presented an optimistic vision of the future which included robots, flights to outer space and automated freeway systems. A significant part of the fair was devoted to the «City of Tomorrow»…
which isn’t essentially different from the concept which we all talk about now as the «Smart City.» While in 1939 we could only dream of actual smart cities, they’re now starting to materialize. On the banks of Lake Ontario, a little south of downtown Toronto, an old industrial zone is earmarked to soon become one of the most advanced neighborhoods in the world, with the help of Google sister-company Sidewalk Labs.
This new neighborhood will be the first in the world to be built «from the internet up» and will be able to run itself through the collection and monitoring of data from traffic, noise, air quality, waste and the residents’ daily habits. Cities around the world are increasingly taking on the goal of adopting smart city technologies as residents now expect the same level of service and quality from private and public entities.
Israeli smart city startups are getting into the act. According to Start-Up Nation Finder, the innovation discovery platform by Israeli tech NGO Start-Up Nation Central, there are some 250 currently active smart city companies operating in Israel, many of these in the mobility sector.
Here are ten Israeli smart city startups who have the potential to benefit residents of cities around the world.
- ACiiST helps create a communications infrastructure using a city’s lampposts. Currently, installation of cameras in urban areas requires new structures as well as digging and trenching operations –all affecting traffic and quality of life. ACiiST minimizes cables and central boxes by leveraging existing infrastructure, making every lamppost an IoT asset. The company also offers diagnostic and monitoring systems from connected devices such cameras, screens, wireless internet and more.
- Mobility Insight develops solutions for managing transportation networks. The program uses inter-connectivity between vehicles and city infrastructure to analyze current and predicted levels of traffic, helping to regulate traffic and prevent traffic jams.
- ZenCity offers a data management tool for facilitating municipal decision-making. This tool uses artificial intelligence to analyze the data received through millions of interactions between residents and the municipality, including through social media and telephone hotlines.
- Howazit provides a communication platform that encourages hassle-free communication and conversation between citizens and their municipality services.
- Over.ai specializes in natural language processing which provides round-the-clock automated customer service that can handle complex tasks. The AI understands voice communications, allowing municipalities to connect with citizens vocally through an application or on the municipality’s website.
- GreenQ provides smart solutions for monitoring and optimizing a city’s waste collection process, thereby improving quality of life in urban areas. The company’s technology monitors weight, capacity, time and location of garbage trucks, analyzes the data, and generates useful insights, allowing for optimization of waste collection processes.
- Hombi creates a single place from which citizens can manage every interaction connected with urban living, including but not limited to Homeowner Association related payments and notifications.
- My City offers a regulation and monitoring system which conducts consumer satisfaction surveys to improve municipal services. The system also allows municipalities to send messages during crises, while also offering citizens a way to send messages, pictures and videos to municipality services.
- Scanovate facilitates biometric identification through cell phones, enabling citizens to pay bills and even communicate by video with the municipality.
- The Public Knowledge Workshop is a non-profit organization whose aim is to increase transparency in the Israeli government and make government and municipal information accessible through technology, like facilitating easy access to municipal building plans without having to know the jargon of construction and planning.
Itai Green is the founder and CEO of Innovate Israel, and one of Israel’s top practitioner of corporate open innovation, leading innovation processes by connecting global corporations with the Israeli startup community. Itai focuses on IT, consumer products, pharma, finance, travel, e-commerce, retail, banking, insurance, energy, construction-tech and IoT.