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Enterprises, governments and citizens around the globe could benefit from $5 trillion in costs savings per year by 2022 with the adoption of smart city technologies, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Technologies such as automation, AI, sensors, data-sharing and analytics will be vital in helping cities save costs, but various interests must collaborate and embrace a holistic approach for success, the report found.

The report, Smart Cities and Cost Savings, studied the potential combined cost-savings for typical smart mega cities – those with at least 10 million inhabitants – in coming years --

Governments stand to save up to $4.95 billion each year from the proliferation of smart city tech, the firm found. Smart buildings could provide significant savings, while smart street lights, could reduce repair and maintenance costs by 30 percent.

The analysis showed a $14 billion cost-saving opportunity for enterprises, or 25 percent of total enterprise costs. Drones, robots and autonomous vehicles could lower business’ transportation costs, while smart manufacturing plants could increase efficiency.

Citizens, meanwhile, could collectively achieve up to $26.69 billion in savings per year. ABI pointed to the deployment of smart meters and micro-grids as a way to decrease utility costs. The firm also noted that a hybrid system of physical and online learning could cut educational costs.   

“While smart cities technologies offer multiple benefits, very significant direct cost savings represent a key incentive to embrace urban innovation for city governments, citizens and enterprises alike; this allows building stronger business cases with faster ROI, facilitating project approval and accelerating deployments,” Dominique Bonte, VP of Markets at ABI Research, said in a statement.

ABI also cited a 2017 survey of 455 U.S.-based companies across nine vertical markets, in which respondents ranked a list of 11 key benefits they expected from implementing innovative technologies.

The top-ranked answer was ”faster and more efficient decision making,” followed by “reduction in operational costs.”

“Smart cities are built upon the Internet of Things (IoT) allowing citizens to reimagine how they work, live and play,” said Rahim Bhatia, general manager of API Management at CA Technologies. “We’re excited to see quantifiable outcomes being delivered across today’s local governments, with application programming interfaces playing a fundamental role in seamlessly connecting the critical infrastructure that makes smart cities a reality.”

ABI Research conducted the study on behalf of InterDigital and its Smart Cities-focused business, Chordant, along with CA Technologies.

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