The likelihood of greater urban concentrations brings challenges to urban mobility. 5G networks, connected transport, and IoT supported by AI offer solutions.
Despite the concerns of some conspiracy theorists, we can be fairly certain that the upgrade to 5G networks is set to transform businesses, industries, and consumers through intelligent connectivity. From smart urban agriculture to intelligent traffic signals to self-driving cars, low-latency connectivity plays a paramount role enabling an array of smart city applications.
Mobile services and networks can both help municipalities improve and manage transport through a city either by car, on foot, or via public transport. As mobility changes rapidly around the world, how future cities will manage issues like traffic congestion will also change as citizens become increasingly demanding. As a result, the cities’ local governments will harness more diverse and innovative means of transport.
One of these innovative means of transport will be spearheaded by artificial intelligence applications. Read on to learn how AI-powered technologies can better support smart cities transportation.
Smart Transportation Trends
What fundamental changes are impacting mobility? According to Smart Cities World, increased environmental awareness, advancements in technology, rising life expectancies, households working longer, and millennials entering the workforce are contributing to five converging mobility innovations:
- Electrification: Electric drive vehicles that use one or more electric or traction motors for propulsion can reduce emissions like GHGs, mitigating many of the transportation-related impacts associated with increased urbanization.
- Automation: Automation vehicles also have the potential to create new and exciting opportunities for both the private and public sectors, such as automated pick-up, drop-off and charging; cost savings; and more convenient and economical demand-responsive services.
- Commodifying transportation: Consumers are assigning economic values to different modes of transport and engaging in multimodal decision-making processes based on a variety of factors such as journey time, wait time, cost, the number of connections, convenience and other attributes. Rather than making decisions between modes, mobility consumers can make decisions among modes to optimize the travel time, route, and cost.
- Digital information and fare payment integration: These services can help make multimodal travel and public transit more convenient, bridge information gaps, and enhance decision-making with dynamic and real-time information throughout an entire journey
- Shared mobility: Shared mobility allows users to gain short-term access to transportation modes on an ‘as-needed’ basis. The ecosystem of cars shared transportation services continues to grow and includes an array of services, such as car-sharing, microtransit, shared micromobility (e.g., bike-sharing and scooter-sharing), transportation network companies, and public transportation.
Smart Cities Transportation Gets a Boost from AI Applications
Every day, cities are getting smarter. According to Interesting Engineering, municipalities are more apt these days to use information and communication technologies (ICT) like machine learning to enhance and enrich city life, which is essential to planning future cities. The rapid expansion and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) result in a fundamental impact on the development of smart cities and their mobility options.
What are AI and IoT-connected technologies helping us improve on the urban mobility front? Smart cities transportation technologies get a boost in the following ways:
1. Connected vehicles – a wide array of services, applications, and technologies can connect a vehicle to other vehicles (V2V), to its surroundings, and to the infrastructure. A connected vehicle includes the different communication devices (either embedded or portable) present in the vehicle that allows in-car connectivity with other devices present in the same vehicle. It also enables the connection of the car to external networks, devices, services, and applications. These applications can include anything and everything from traffic safety and efficiency, parking assistance, infotainment, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics, and telematics to autonomous self-driving vehicles and global positioning systems (GPS). Typically, within the scale of the six levels of autonomous driving, vehicles that include interactive advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs) and cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) can be regarded as connected. Connected-vehicle safety applications are designed to increase situation awareness and mitigate traffic accidents through Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications. Connected vehicles technologies are also going to be a fundamental component of automated driving as they will allow the exchange of sensor and awareness data among vehicles, cooperative localization, and map updating, as well as facilitate cooperative maneuvers between automated vehicles.
2. Electric cars – In smart cities, electric cars contribute to reducing air pollution and also fight climate change. Tesla is likely the most talked about of all electric cars, even though there are many other auto-makers in the electric and connected vehicle market as well. According to InsideEVs, Tesla Model 3 was the number one selling plug-in electric car in Canada for September 2018. This comes along with the news that Tesla Model 3 is the safest car that has has been tested, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Current Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others in the automotive industry are committed to a future of vehicles that are 100 percent electric and autonomous.
3. Smart parking solutions – In urban areas, parking solutions systems optimize parking spaces in a way that is efficient, smart, and contributes to a better traffic flow. Around the world, there are several ideas and companies working toward how to make smart parking spots and systems sustainable and useful to help the needs of the different cities.
4. Electric car-sharing services – Electric car-sharing services are one of the most celebrated current solutions for urban mobility, with several automakers getting onboard with their car-sharing brands. Thanks to an increasing interest in all electric vehicles and less interest in vehicle ownership, this new urban mobility solution is especially popular with younger generations.
5. Crowdsourced data – according to Unite AI, crowdsourced data collection today is ubiquitous and originates in a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and even cars, which are all constantly emitting geolocation data. A variety of applications are capturing this real time data and using it to power consumer-facing services. At the same time, analytics frameworks make it straightforward to extract insights from such heterogeneous data sources. By sharing this data with city administration and city planners, it is possible to capitalize on this rich mobility data science in order to improve the planning process.
6. Computer vision and AI allow pedestrian and vehicle safety – Computer vision and video analytics can be implemented both on roadside cameras, but also on cars. Algorithms can perform computation on the edge and can detect situational and behavioral abnormalities at the moment when they happen. From the automated reading of license plates to detecting walking patterns, a variety of applications become possible thanks to computer vision. When implemented as part of traffic management systems, they can minimize the high risks associated with careless driving and ensure the safety of public pedestrian areas.
Smart Solutions for Cities with Stefanini
At Stefanini, we provide excellence in Smart Solutions, with a focus on the people who visit, live, and operate within these cities. Our expertise includes Industry 4.0, Cyber Security, Cognitive, Customer Experience (CX), and more. We offer automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to bolster productivity as well as User Experience (UX) support. At the end of the day, innovation and digital transformation are the main pillars of Smart City deployments; we are here to help you with that process.
Interested in the various ways transportation systems in your city can get a boost from AI tools? Call us today to chat with an expert!