How Cities Can Benefit from Digital Twin Technology
Digital twin technology is spreading from its traditional industrial origins, ABI notes, to the smart city marketplace “where it allows a more holistic approach in terms of cross-vertical optimization of the design, management, and operation of urban infrastructure.”
There are numerous benefits to digital twin technology in the smart city environment, including “operational cost savings, energy efficiencies, increased resilience, improved sustainability, and a positive impact on economic growth.”
Digital twins include “spatial modeling of the built environment, mathematical models of electric and mechanical systems, and real-time sensor data crowdsourced” from Internet of Things platforms.
Digital twins can help city IT leaders with everything from flood risk modeling to the optimization of renewable energy and traffic flows, occupancy tracking and evacuation simulations, and the generative design of city extensions.
Bonte tells FutureIoT that digital twins “won’t be a single Uber-like digital twin for an entire city but rather an aggregation and integration of domain-specific digital twins for systems like smart buildings, traffic infrastructure, energy grids, and water management.”
Cities that have deployed digital twins include Boston, New York, Singapore and Stockholm, says FutureIoT.
FutureIoT notes that “challenges for adoption remain, mainly related to the complexity of city-wide modelling and the lack of standards supporting cross-vertical data exchange.”
Other challenges include a lack awareness about benefits and return on investment, commercialization challenges connected to the siloed nature of city governments, and concerns about consumer privacy and cybersecurity.