1. Small Cell/5G
5G/small cell technology is the latest leap forward for wireless communications. It has been embraced by all major telecommunications providers with network installations both domestic and international.
2. Integration of Technologies
The integration of technologies is necessary for public works departments to help achieve desired services levels. In addition, this integration allows for greater accountability, reporting, and efficiency.
3. Automated/Connected Vehicles Technologies
Automated and connected vehicles are a developing technology that will shape the future of the traveling public. Data collected from the vehicles can help inform city planners in planning city infrastructure.
Cybersecurity and infrastructure protection are paramount to ensure the safety and security of the community. Critical asset network components include industrial production systems, mass people movement systems, operations and maintenance systems, and data logger and monitoring devices (SCADA, sensors and information management systems, etc.).
5. Asset Management Technologies
Asset management technologies can enhance how assets are used, leading to better-informed decisions on investments to deliver asset information, system interfaces, and data modeling.
6. Virtual Public Engagement Technologies
Virtual public engagement technologies include discovering the top technologies and best practices to engage the public in virtual meetings and community notifications to gain support and build consensus.
7. Drone/UAS Technology
Unmanned aircraft systems/drones can be used for several public works operations including grounds/turf and building inspections, construction site surveying, drainage inspections, and real-time documentation of data, information, and events.
8. Technology for Field Crews
Portable devices such as tablets, laptop computers, and smartphones increase efficiency for field crews in the work order system, infrastructure assessments, emergency management reporting, etc. Tools for infrastructure assessments (sidewalks, pipelines, storm sewer outfalls, manholes, etc.) have become more important for field crews as well.
9. Open Government Technologies
Open government technologies include systems that share city/county data and performance metrics to the public and technology that enables community members to participate in government, education, and the economy.
10. Geographic Information Systems
GIS technology is an ever-expanding platform for visual imagery and mapping of public works assets.
11. Building Automation Management Systems
Building automation management systems include video to assist in building security, centralized control of building operations, health screening technologies, air quality management systems, and enhanced safety measures for pandemic response.
12. Smart Technologies
Cities incorporate big data into operations, enabling more cost-effective planning and economic development. Sensors detect and monitor various aspects of infrastructure.
13. Biomonitoring Technology for Wastewater
Wastewater samples have been used to detect poliovirus, and recently COVID-19, as new studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus is detectable in wastewater. This can provide an early warning for public works departments and their communities.
14. Route Optimization Technologies
Route optimization technologies cover the ability to dispatch, route, and optimize winter weather vehicles, utility customer service technicians, solid waste management services, or public transit systems.
15. Traffic Technologies
Traffic technologies help inform the community, create accountability, increase efficiency, and reduce driver frustration. Systems such as advanced detection (pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle), advanced algorithms, communication systems, and traffic/train monitoring systems aid in achieving these goals.
16. Alternative Fuels
Public works vehicles are becoming more diverse in fuel systems (electric batteries, hydrogen, biofuels, etc.). There may also be opportunities for public works departments to procure new fuel sources in a solid waste environment or wastewater plant environment.