The global spend on smart city technology will quadruple in four years’ time, according to ABI Research.

Spending on these technologies totalled $8.1 billion last year but will hit $39.5 billion by 2016, said the research firm.

A smart city is determined by six factors: smart economy, environment, governance, lifestyle, transportation, and community.

Currently 102 smart city projects are underway worldwide: 38 in Europe, 35 in North America, 21 in Asia-Pacific, 6 in the Middle East and Africa, 2 in Latin America.

Josh Flood, senior analyst at ABI Research, said smart city concepts “are really taking off globally”, adding that the biggest spend at the moment was on smart grids.

“However, over the next five years we will see a significant increase on spending for smart transportation technologies such as automatic vehicle ID and smart governance systems such as e-ID and ID document systems.”

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