On October 13, 2021, the GCTC Utility SuperCluster conducted a NIST co-sponsored webcast in which a panel of experts addressed the lessons from technology use in smart community initiatives. One example that was described is a windshield-mounted smart phone application that collects visual data on roads; artificial intelligence then analyzes and rates the repair needed.
Yet, such technologies face procurement challenges in smart community initiatives. One problem is getting buy-in from all involved, stated NIST’s, Michael Dunaway. It is very hard work, said Metro 21’s Karen Lightman, requiring an active, engaged, and thoughtful hand. Also, when procurements occur in one community, they are not always scalable and useable in another. Additionally, elected officials do not want overly extensive R&D and planning. Rather, they want results within election cycles. NIST plays an important role, as noted by Bruce Walker of Analysis and Resilience Center for Systemic Risk because NIST can accelerate initiatives by serving as an honest broker for decision makers, offering frameworks, best practices, and case studies. NIST also advocates scalable solutions for others’ use, helping businesses see the possibility of greater market share, said Dunaway. The webcast is available online.