COVID-19 Has Changed Business as Usual—With Smart Cities Technology, We Can Change It for the Better

Public spaces have shut down or been divided by plexiglass shields and “social distancing” floor tape. Delivery trucks and take-out drivers now fill traffic lanes, interrupted by emergency vehicles transporting people in urgent need of care. Throughout, screens and phones have connected people sheltering at home with work and loved ones. In short, we’re now more reliant than ever on public utilities and services.


City streets and hometown neighborhoods look very different now than they did at the beginning of the year. Keeping people safe and healthy, and daily life functioning as normally as possible, is critical but increasingly difficult.


The CTIA Smart Cities Working Group is proud to share that smart cities projects have risen to the challenge, helping communities find creative ways to adapt in today’s changed world.   


All in this together


From Peachtree Corners, Georgia to Chula Vista, California, the CTIA Smart Cities members have been working with their communities to navigate this new normal:

  • Maintaining online networks
  • Keeping traffic moving swiftly
  • Providing better awareness to first responders

Here’s one recent development:


As regions begin reopening from COVID-19 lock downs, the Curiosity Lab, in tandem with Go X and Tortoise, is testing a fleet of 100 teleoperated e-scooters as an alternative to public transit. Vehicles are thoroughly disinfected between rides, and every Go X Apollo employee is required to pass a daily COVID-19 health check.


From Hidden Level putting their drone monitoring solutions to work for local communities to Aero Wireless developing even smarter infrastructure, CTIA’s Smart Cities industry members have been providing essential technology and connectivity throughout this crisis.


As an example, you’ll find smart technologies at work in California where communities are looking to re-open. Fluid Sound is leveraging solutions from OneScreen that use Qualcomm processors. They’re deploying the GoSafe device that uses thermal scanning to capture faces and detect high temperature readings as individuals enter buildings, while also verifying each person is wearing a mask.


The CTIA Smart Cities group has also kept tabs on expanding and evolving regulations. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration extended the potential role of drones for COVID-19 response activities. Drone operators are now able to transport goods and certain medical supplies, including test kits, provided the drone flight complies with relevant provisions. Drone operators can also get special approvals for flights that support emergency activities and appropriate government, health, or community initiatives.


A new video—live on Town Square


For the CTIA Smart Cities Business & Technology Working Group, our mission has always been helping communities of all sizes and states of readiness see smart cities technologies as accessible, desirable, and achievable.


As our mission takes on new meaning during the COVID-19 crisis, we see the potential of smart cities projects:

  • To deliver resources to those who need it most
  • To keep essential workers safe, prepared, and protected
  • To ensure that “business as usual” changes for the better as we move through this crisis and into the future

This new video captures a message from both city and wireless industry leaders that communities’ can return even stronger than before as part of their local COVID-19 response. I invite you to watch it today and learn more about our efforts on Town Square at If we can assist your efforts using smart cities technologies in your COVID-19 response, please don’t hesitate to reach out.



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