Tomorrow’s world

Leveraging digital technologies to build brighter and smarter societies of the future

We have come a long way in the last couple of centuries, having traversed through four industrial revolutions. With advanced digital technologies and innovation, both consumers and businesses have experienced profound changes.

Today we stand at a crossroads, with a need to balance future socio and economic development with the need to carefully manage our planet’s resources and ensure its continued prosperity for future generations.

The role of the smart cities and societies in managing these diverse pressures is one that has been explored at length and continues to challenge governments, developers, engineers, innovators and other stakeholders around the world.

It is now more important than ever to aim towards building cities that are truly sustainable, have cleaner transportation, and feature more efficient buildings and infrastructures that serve essential human needs such as homes, water, electricity and connectivity.

Our focus should not however be limited to smart cities. We need to take into consideration the important role which smart industry, regional infrastructure and settlements can play in building societies of today and of the future.

And in addressing all these challenges we can further leverage innovations and advanced digital technologies. Digitalization and connectivity are key enablers of a smart society. These technologies give us access to deeper insights into the performance of assets. They unlock the potential of creating cost-efficient, flexible and future proof solutions for safer and more reliable systems.

When it comes to industry, we can now remotely monitor equipment placed anywhere across the world and have full transparency of the operations. At ABB Electrification we have developed cost efficient system that helps commercial and industrial premises to monitor their energy usage, thereby enabling them to minimize energy waste.

The ABB Ability™ Electrical Distribution Control System was deployed recently at an industrial park in Shanghai, China, where it is enabling real-time monitoring of equipment and electrical system performance alongside predictive maintenance to ensure greater reliability and continuity of electrical power supply.

Aside from transforming industrial operations, Shanghai serves as a clear example of the need to adopt a more integrated ecosystem of intelligent solutions across all of society. Indeed, the coastal metropolis is investing billions of dollars in new infrastructure, which includes automated factories, 5G base stations and chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).

The deployment of such e-mobility solutions is gaining a rapid pace around the world as urban areas commit to ambitious targets on emission reduction. Indeed, only in the last few weeks we have provided the very first electric vehicle charging solutions to Mongolia and Pakistan and have now sold more than 14,000 DC fast chargers globally.

In order to accept the practicality of e-mobility, consumers, transport operators and businesses alike need to see that a secure, fast and reliable charging infrastructure is in place. Digital solutions are again key here. Digital energy management ensures that the existing infrastructure can accommodate new demands for electrical power. Moreover, with our ABB Ability™ connected chargers we can diagnose 90 percent of possible technical performance issues and solve 60 percent of these remotely, greatly improving operating efficiency and uptime.

Showcasing the full breadth of intelligent solutions across cities, industry and infrastructure which contribute to the development of a smart society, we have created a new online interactive experience – ABB Smart Societies. It will navigate stakeholders and authorities in understanding how technology can support their aspirations and fulfill their visions of a sustainable future. It will give an overview of all the ABB solutions and how they bring value to our customers.

To extend our support, we are also offering some of our groundbreaking digital services for free this year. We see it as our responsibility to help sustain growth and sustainable development, and with these solutions, we are enabling public services, communities and industries to make greater strides towards turning smart societies into a reality.

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About the author

Dr. Marija Zima-Bockarjova

Dr. Marija Zima-Bockarjova is the R&D and Marketing Manager for Smart Cities and Solutions. As a part of ABB Electrification, she leads the Smart Cities initiative which promotes safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions to meet customers' and the world's increasing demands. Dr. Marija Zima-Bockarjova started her career at ABB as a Research Scientist and Project Manager in 2010 and has contributed to the development and assessment of many innovative and disruptive technologies, providing strategic technical consulting to ABB leadership and supporting ABB business development across multiple key industrial segments. Prior to her engagement with ABB, she conducted research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zürich) after holding responsibility for the electrical power system planning as an engineer at the "strategy and long-term planning department" within Latvenergo energy utility. Marija is the Swiss representative of the CIGRE Study committee “System Operations and Control” and is a member of CIGRE. She serves on the Board of Swiss Association for Energy and Network Research, and publishes in IEEE, Elsevier journals and lectures at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich.
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