Wireless Tech to Play a Big Role in an Efficient, Connected Future

A new report from BSR and CTIA, the wireless industry lobbying group, touts the potential energy cost savings and significant reduction of carbon emissions through the use of wireless technologies.

The report highlights the impact of wireless technologies on transportation, energy, agriculture, and the public sector, and underscores the increasing connected world of buildings, vehicles, and information in a concept what we call VERGE.

report coverAccording to the BSR report "Wireless and the Environment," trucking and logistics companies stand to gain through improvements in fleet management and route optimization. Wireless-enabled software gathers real-time performance data to analyze speed, idle times, the number of stops, and tire pressure.

These data allow fleets managers to implement strategies to reduce unnecessary driving. The report boasts a potential $3,600 per truck cost savings, eliminating nine million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Wireless technology also holds the promise for smart grid in the rollout of smart meters, connected home appliances, building automation, and sensors to optimize distribution on the grid. In helping reduce peak demand and promoting energy conservation, these benefits, according to the BSR report, would translate into an estimated savings of $15 billion to $35 billion in the U.S. by 2020.

In monitoring soil, fertilizers, pesticides, and water, remote technologies also help improve crop and livestock production for the agricultural industry. Even more, says the report, widespread application of wireless communications for "precision agriculture" could reduce water use on U.S. farms by 11%-50%.

Government services – in the form of emergency response and trash collection – were also cited as wireless opportunities for urban planners to lessen the environmental impact for the public sector. So-called "smart traffic applications" and car-sharing programs could help shrink fuel consumption on urban roadways up to 20 percent.

The free report, "Wireless and the Environment: A Review of Opportunities and Challenges," is available from BSR.

Top photo courtesy of BSR.