Hurricane Maria was the worst natural disaster to affect the island of Puerto Rico, resulting in the loss of many lives and causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage.
Rebuilding efforts are ongoing and will take years to complete. During a recent Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on hurricane recovery, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello said that he hopes a new technology center can help the US state incorporate artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT) in the rebuilding process.
Developing Smart Cities in Puerto Rico
Rossello believes that such a focus on new technologies will help with the development of so-called "smart cities" across the state. These use data and technology to create efficiencies, promote economic development, improve sustainability and much more. Ultimately they improve the quality of life for citizens.
Better Flood Detection
Among the many new features that Rossello is hoping to see with these smart cities are technologies to detect flooding in the event of a storm.
The technology center is going to be located in the northern city of Bayamon which is contributing more than half a million dollars to its development. It is slated to be completed in about four months’ time and will be run by a local company, Engine-4. The center will also be receiving help and resources from such companies as Intel, IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.
"The opportunities are enormous," said Rossello. "It allows us to take these ideas and give them shape."