Competitive landscape in the space for “Smart City.”

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Competitive Landscape - Main players: Data Aggregators for Smart Cities.

Data aggregation has easily become one of the most innovative and important technological advances in recent history, with a myriad of benefits. Seven of the key payers in data aggregation for smart cities are: SAS, Axis Communication, Chordant / InterDigital, B-Scada, Hitachi, AgreeYa, and VMWare, with bonus company 8 CitiWorx. They are working in New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Austin, Pittsburgh, and many smaller cities.


SAS branded the slogan, "The Power to Know". They partner with several companies, including their "platinum partners", Accenture, Capgemini, Terradata, and Deloitte. They offer sliver, gold, and platinum program levels. Silver being their entry level tier, gold being the tier meant for companies which have shown a level of expertise within their field, and platinum being the highest tier, including technology that is implemented worldwide.

Axis Communications

Axis Communications offers "secure insights, new trends within smart cities, and big data aggregation in smart cities". Axis Communications does not offer a compiled list of their preferred partners, but does offer an easy to use program to assist organizations in finding a partner to work with them through their company.


Chordant/InterDigital branded the slogan, "A Bridge to a Smart Future". They offer a platform claiming to "enable cities to consolidate, expose and monetize their data". While no compiled list of the company's preferred partners is available, they do offer a "simple interface for partners to access and onboard their services".




AgreeYa claims to help businesses meet their goals through a "global, yet local approach, by using a flexible delivery model and strong technology expertise". They intend to help their customers "gain the competitive advantage in their field". Their preferred partners include Microsoft, HP, Dell, and Amazon.


VMWare claims to "create greater efficiencies at regional/municipal levels, promote transparency and compliance for citizens and enable more effective overall collaboration." Although they do not have an available list of preferred partners, they offer an extensive program to assist organizations in finding partners to work with through their company. This program is broken down into the following sections: "Resellers", "Services", "Technology", "Partner Resources", "Global Research and Education", and "Find Partners".


Although we were unable to find any pre-compiled lists of key players in data aggregation within smart cities, the seven companies listed above were consistently mentioned on several platforms within an advanced search. After completing more extensive research, it was clear to see that the seven companies, SAS, Axis Communication, Chordant / InterDigital, B-Scada, Hitachi, AgreeYa, and VMWare, were key players in the implementation of data aggregation within smart cities in the United States. As well as forming the competitive landscape of data aggregation, several of the companies listed each other as preferred partners, showing that, although each individual company wants to be the top company within data aggregation, all companies are aiming for the same goal: to improve smart cities.

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Competitive Landscape - Main players: Start ups for Smart Cities.

Six key startups in the smart city sector include SPLT, Smarter Sorting, Tolemi, Tesloop, RoadBotics, and Crossroad Optics. These startups offer a range of services to municipalities across the US, including enhanced transportation, roadway monitoring, environmental safety, and data analysis. The full competitive landscape is available in the attached spreadsheet.

To identify key players in the smart city startup sector, I relied on smart city industry experts and business sources. The six startups identified have been selected due to their inclusion in smart city startup competitions and their location in the US. Digital Leaders Ventures determined the top ten North American smart city startups of 2017, two of which are based in the US: Crossroad Optics and Tesloop. Fourteen startups competed in the 2017 Smart Cities Startup Challenge at the second annual Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, and three winners and one contender have been selected for our list. The companies identified in the attached competitive landscape, all based in the US, are SPLT, Smarter Sorting, Tolemi, Tesloop, RoadBotics, and Crossroad Optics.

Headquartered in Detroit, SPLT is changing urban mobility via a ride-sharing app for big companies, intended to reduce the traffic on the roads in urban areas. It also offers SPLIT Rides, which is a partnership with Lyft that caters to the needs of patients who need to get to medical appointments.

Based in Austin, TX, Smarter Sorting uses its "patented technology and proprietary data to turn incinerator bound consumer chemical waste into a reusable product." The system scans and sorts household hazardous waste (HHW), diverting reusable consumer chemical from the incinerator to Smarter Sorting. Their data-driven process will "affect how products are manufactured, governments regulate and consumers interact with chemical products."

Based in Boston, MA, Tolemi provides governments with "leading cloud-based data management services combined with user-friendly software analysis tools that work seamlessly with existing systems to combine messy, scattered data and deliver simple, clear insights needed to solve community and neighborhood priorities." The company was formerly called OpportunitySpace, but after completing a Y Combinator stint, it changed its name.

Based in Play Vista, CA, Tesloop uses Tesla electric vehicles to provide sustainable, safe, and productive "city-to-city shared-car transportation." Launched in 2015, Tesloop daily routes, including Los Angeles to Orange County, Los Angeles to San Diego, Los Angeles to Palm Springs, Orange County to San Diego, and Orange County to Palm Springs. They offer convenient pick-up and drop-off locations, such as hotels and coffeeshops.

RoadBotics is a Pittsburgh, PA startup that seeks to maintain road infrastructure. Founded by Dr. Christoph Mertz in 2016, the company spun out of Carnegie Mellon University research. Using machine learning, the technology identifies road issues affordably and at mass scale. Their services is intended for municipalities, urban infrastructure organizations, planning organizations, and engineering and construction firms.

Established in 2017, Crossroad Optics is based in Boston, MA. Founded by Jacob Riedel and Ryan Louie, the company uses advanced computing and small sensors to collect data, producing metrics to analyze how people use roads.

In conclusion, SPLT, Smarter Sorting, Tolemi, Tesloop, RoadBotics, and Crossroad Optics have proven to be among the key players in the smart city startup sector, based on their inclusion in competitions judged by experts in the field. The full competitive landscape is available in the attached spreadsheet.
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Competitive Landscape - Main players: Government Groups & Consortiums for Smart Cities.

Smart city initiatives currently underway in the United States include investments in digitalization, transportation, mobility, sustainability, clean energy, and environmental protection. According to industry experts, five key players implementing innovative projects in the smart city space in the United States include the United States Department of Transportation, IBM Smarter Cities, LinkNYC, Smart Cities Council (North American division), and Atkins Global (North American division). A competitive landscape of these groups is included for review, with insights regarding each group's recent key initiatives, pilot cities, critical partnerships, smart city technologies and/or solutions, and competitive advantages included. An explanation of selection criteria utilized for this project is included below, as well as an overview of key findings.


In order to determine the major players in the smart city space in the United States, my colleagues and I first sought to identify any pre-compiled lists recognizing specific governmental groups and/or consortia that have been recognized for their innovation or prominence in this industry. While we were able to locate current and reliable data on the top smart cities in the United States, which will be discussed in more detail below, we were unable to identify any pre-determined lists of the major players in the smart city space.

We then sought to identify critical governmental groups and/or consortia that are making substantial financial investments in smart city initiatives, as our preliminary findings revealed that investment and modernization in smart cities initiatives typically surpasses the financial capabilities of most municipalities, requiring investments from outside groups. We identified a number of significant governmental groups and consortia currently funding these projects in the United States, primarily based on data derived from the Deloitte Center for Governmental Insights, which provides expert information on "government innovation, looking at what’s
behind the adoption of new technologies and management practices."

We then reviewed each group and/or consortium identified to ensure it is currently a major player in the smart city space in the United States. For example, while the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology was previously considered a major federal player, the relative importance of this governmental group is unclear at this time; key appointments to the group remain unfilled under President Trump, and policy appears to be evolving. In other cases, initiatives specific to the smart city space could not be identified for some key players, such as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Next, we attempted to provide a variety of examples of major players in the smart city space, without limiting this research to one type of initiative, such as focusing exclusively on environmental projects. While some key players have a global presence, we verified that they are implementing smart city solutions in the United States, specifically. Finally, while LinkNYC is a local consortium in one American city that would not typically be considered a "major player," it was felt that the ambition of the project, its unique funding model, and the potential application of the project to cities globally merited its inclusion on this list, as will be discussed in more detail below.

Having identified five key players, we completed a competitive landscape in the attached spreadsheet, which also addresses key initiatives, pilot cities, critical partnerships, smart city technologies and/or solutions, and competitive advantages. It is noted that there are a number of major players in this field, and we have included only five to keep this project within the scope of a typical Wonder request. Below you will find an overview of our findings and other key insights into this field.


According to the EasyPark Group, the definition of smart city is evolving, but a smart city should focus on innovative investments in six areas: digitalization, transportation, mobility, sustainability, clean energy, and environmental protection. In its 2017 Smart Cities Index, which was based on analysis of investments in these areas among 500 cities globally and interviews with over 20,000 urban policy and technology experts, the EasyPark Group identified seven cities in the United States in the top 100 Smart Cities for 2017. These cities include San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; and Los Angeles, CA. In fact, New York City was designated the Top Smart City in 2016 by the Smart City Expo World Congress, and the LinkNYC initiative profiled in this brief was described as "the most high profile tech project in New York City at the moment."


Based on findings from industry experts in the smart city space, we identified five major players currently implementing innovative smart city projects, which are profiled in the attached spreadsheet. This list includes, in no particular order:

1. United States Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation launched two major smart city initiatives in recent years. The Smart City Challenge invited mid-size cities to assess their most critical transportation needs and propose innovative solutions for utilizing technology to resolve those issues. The Beyond Traffic 2045 project studied the most pressing transportation needs affecting the overall United States in the next 30 years, and the initiative established 18 Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers at major American universities to serve as research hubs.

2. IBM Smarter Cities

Implemented in 2010, the IBM Smarter Cities is an annual challenge for cities worldwide to compete for a "grant of consulting services from IBM." Although the challenge is global in nature, American cities have been prominent winners, and the 2017 recipient of the Smart Cities Challenge was San Jose, CA. After submitting applications detailing critical challenges facing the city, IBM dispatches six experts to analyze data, detail best practices in smart city initiatives, and recommend innovative techniques to turn municipal problems into smart city solutions.

3. LinkNYC

Noted as one of the most innovative smart city solutions in the world in 2016, LinkNYC is an ambitious project to replace 7,500 pay phones with digital kiosks in the five boroughs of New York City. Services offered will include high speed, free Wi-Fi for smartphones, a tablet that provides city maps and directions, free phone calls, access to public service announcements on two displays, and ADA-compliant access for citizens with disabilities. The project has an innovative funding model, relying entirely on advertising revenues with local partners at no cost to taxpayers.

4. Smart Cities Council

The Smart Cities Council is a global consortium that promotes three core goals: livability, workability, and sustainability. The North American division has United States headquarters in Virginia. The Council promotes innovation in the smart city space through readiness guides, case studies, financial information, policy guidelines, assistance with designing highly-visible smart city campaigns, and regional network events for stakeholders. The council's most recent smart city initiative was incredibly ambitious, having secured the agreement of all 50 states, two United States territories, and Washington, DC, to build a smart city first responder network across the United States. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will provide innovative smart city solutions to the challenges currently faced by first responders in emergency situations throughout the United States.

5. Atkins Global

With a global presence, Atkins Global works to "future proof cities" by creating "liveable and inclusive cities" that benefit from smart city solutions. A design, project management, and engineering consulting firm, Atkins has extensive experience among a staggering 22 sectors, including aviation, transportation, rail, and aerospace, among others. There are 11 regional offices in the North American division, which has enacted major smart city solutions in Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV, Yucca Valley, CA; and Baton Rouge, LA. A recent major smart city initiative was the Renew Atlanta North Avenue Smart Corridor, which improved traffic safety and operations along a 2.3 mile stretch of major roadway in Atlanta.


In summary, according to industry experts, five key governmental groups and/or consortia implementing innovative projects in the smart city space in the United States include the United States Department of Transportation, IBM Smarter Cities, LinkNYC, Smart Cities Council (North America), and Atkins Global (North America). A competitive landscape is provided in the attached spreadsheet.
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Competitive Landscape - Main players: Automakers for Smart Cities.

With the world moving to be more technologically focused, and the integration of technology into everyday life, companies must adapt. As governments use data and new technologies to create ‘smart cities’, there are opportunities for many industries to evolve and take advantage of these advancements. One such industry is the automotive industry, which has the opportunity to develop autonomous or smart cars. Several leading automotive companies that are doing this are: BMW, General Motors, Tesla, Ford, Toyota, and Honda.


BMW is currently making advancements in their drive for autonomous vehicles. They have begun to outfit vehicles with V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) communication technologies to integrate with smart cities and allow them to become autonomous. The BMW group has also invested billions in gaining technologies essential for autonomous cars, such as Nokia’s HERE technology which captures data from the surroundings. BMW has partnered with a variety of other companies to achieve the goal of autonomous cars; among them are Nvidia, Continental, Mobileye, IBM, and Intel. They are considered by executives to be the leaders in the push for autonomous cars.

General Motors

General Motors (GM) has also begun to outfit cars with V2I and V2V communications technology which is essential to linking with smart cities, other smart cars, and allowing autonomous vehicles. Recently announced was autonomous vehicle tests by GM in New York City. General Motors has also partnered with Lyft, intending to provide services for the ridesharing service in the form of autonomous fleets open to customers. They have partnered with IBM and Mobileye in an effort to drive innovation and develop more quickly.


Tesla is one of the largest names in autonomous smart cars and has competed with traditional car manufacturers. They sell directly to individuals and have set a deadline for truly autonomous cars, believing this to occur in 2018. They have partnered with Panasonic, Bosch, and Nvidia to provide these services. Tesla has not been linked to testing in any one city.


As with other car manufacturers, Ford is also interested in autonomous technology. The company has created a division devoted to transportation within smart cities (Ford City Solutions) and has a rideshare service named Chariot. Entering a partnership with the city of San Francisco, For is attempting to reduce traffic congestion and provide next-generation mass transit. They have also partnered with IBM and with Lyft to add to the ridesharing app’s fleet.


There is little information available on the activities of Toyota in the smart car and autonomous vehicle industries, but they have been identified as major innovators and leaders in the push to adopt the technology, so they were worth mentioning in this research. They have also partnered with Microsoft to provide these services.


Honda has been active in the push for autonomous cars. They partnered with the US state of Ohio to test their cars and to support the study and creation of similar technologies in the area. They have also partnered with Nvidia and Waymo.

Smart Cities

There are many cities that are friendlier to autonomous cars and have more advanced infrastructure to support the needs of such vehicles. These are likely to be the focus of any companies that wish to enter this industry. Pittsburgh has allowed trials of Uber’s cars and Denver has put forward plans to build infrastructure that would provide a real-time image of transport in the city, useful for autonomous cars and fleets

Boston has likewise dedicated funds to build infrastructure and test autonomous cars. San Francisco is a leader in this area, with a Smart City Challenge dedicated to improving the transportation system with technology. Columbus recently won a large grant to integrate technology into the city and San Jose is partnering with Intel to integrate technology and the Internet of Things into the city’s infrastructure.


The established car manufacturers are being challenged by smaller competitors that are specifically entering the vehicle market for the autonomous niche. Because of this, no specific leader can be determined although all the above companies are at the forefront of the industry. All companies are innovating and testing to develop an autonomous car, but none have succeeded yet. Many cities are open to testing and have the infrastructure in place and many more are planning to upgrade to allow smart vehicles to have a place.

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Competitive Landscape - Main players: Infrastructure firms for Smart Cities.

After extensive research, we have determined that Intersection, Civiq, AT&T, Climatec, and Dell are all key players in the smart city infrastructure industry in the US. In addition to this, they have all successfully provided smart city infrastructure innovations to cities within the country.


StateScoop is a media company that regularly interviews key opinion leaders and company executives in technology industries. The company published a list of the current top 30 smart communities to watch out for based on recent big developments. The initial phase of our research was based on their findings, which also provide information about active smart city infrastructure firms in the US. From their list, we were able to identify key players by focusing primarily on companies with information available in public domains indicating success from smart city innovations.


According to an article published by TechCrunch, New York City has started replacing all of their telephone booths since 2016. The replacement booths called links provide free access to services such as public WiFi, phone calls, emergency services, USB charging, and the 311 New York City assistance service to anyone nearby. The link booths were provided by smart cities infrastructure company Intersection, in partnership with Civiq, for the LinkNYC initiative as part of the New York Smart & Equitable City Strategy.

The success of Intersection is evident in data metrics which show that 91 percent of all New Yorkers believe that LinkNYC makes their city more innovative than others. The article by TechCrunch also states that Intersection has recently received $150 million in a financing round led by Graham Holdings Company. The funds will be used to expand their link services to Philadelphia, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, San Francisco, Seattle, and even London.

Currently, exhaustive research has not produced any evidence that Intersection is working on any new technology for Smart Cities infrastructure. All recent press releases about the company only detail their plans to keep on expanding the reach of their link booths to other cities and countries.


Civiq is another smart cities company responsible for the success of New York City's LinkNYC program. On top of the Intersection links, Civiq provides other similar smart cities products such as the WayPoint and the Totem. All the company's products take advantage of Civiq's platform which is a scalable smart cities infrastructure solution capable of handling smart lighting, environmental sensors, smart cameras with emergency alerts and alarms, and navigation and transportation predictive analysis. New systems can easily be added to the platform when the need arises.

Civiq was recently recognized as one of the GovTech 100 companies of 2018 because of their latest developments and their contributions to the LinkNYC project.

According to an article published by JMC Capital, Civiq is currently focused on expanding their platform to other cities and countries. The article mentions that Civiq has recently partnered with other companies in Israel and Australia. It was also stated that on a daily basis, more than 2 million people use the approximately 2000 units deployed by Civiq across 13 cities including San Antonio and Miami.


AT&T is a US-based technology giant with over $163 billion in revenue as of 2016. They recently began development of a portfolio of products for smart cities.

According to a recently published press release by AT&T, the company has provided Atlanta City with smart lighting solutions that will also help solve current issues regarding flow of traffic, parking optimization, gunshot detection, and overall public road safety. Through its smart cities program Living Lab, AT&T has provided Dallas with smart LED lighting technology to reduce power consumption and carbon output, interactive waypoints for easy access to city services, and environmental sensor technology to monitor pollutant levels and other area conditions such as allergen levels. AT&T has also helped Montgomery by providing them with the infrastructure to both monitor and optimize commuter routes. Outside of the US, AT&T entered an agreement with Mexico City’s Ministry of Economic Development to improve the city's public markets by helping them adopt smart city technologies.

Sources indicate that AT&T has partnered with HydroPoint to develop smart irrigation systems.


Founded in 1975, Climatec has been developing advanced building technologies such as automation products, enterprise-scale energy management, and complex security systems for over 40 years.

According to an article published by Civic Business Journal, the city of San Leandro awarded Climatec a $5.2 million contract to install smart city technologies that will help reduce the city's energy consumption levels. The article also states that back in 2016, Climatec was awarded a contract with the same value to provide the city with smart city technologies that will allow them to more efficiently make use of their water supply. These latest development in the city will result in the replacement of 4,730 street lights and savings of over $8 million within the next 15 years.

Civic Business Journal states that all the previous and current projects of Climatec in San Leandro will provide a platform that will soon allow the installation of new smart city technologies such as optimized parking, public WiFi networks, and better traffic management.


With a 2017 revenue amounting to $61.64 billion, Dell is another US-based technology giant. They have also recently started developing smart city technologies.

According to the recent smart cities and communities report by Dell, the company's smart city products consist of infrastructure to run a fully-connected and city-wide digital platform. Their current products are a result of the combination of SAP analytics software and cloud solutions, Intel processors, and Dell EMC hardware. It was also stated that potential applications for such technologies include smart lighting, traffic control, parking control, crime detection and prevention, emergency response, environmental monitoring, alert systems, public kiosks, smart grid, smart buildings, and other digital city services.

An article published by State Scoop mentions that San Jose City in California partnered with Dell and NTT Group to help the city manage a wide range of current issues through the development and use of smart city technologies.


Intersection, Civiq, AT&T, Climatec, and Dell are examples of key players in the smart city infrastructure industry—indicative through press releases and reports about their recent big developments in US cities.

From Part 04
From Part 05