City Gridlock: how smart technology is taking on the challenge


26-04-2017

With cities around the world looking at ways to collect data and take action that could improve quality of life, manage environmental issues and boost economic growth, it is unsurprising that urban mobility and transportation challenges sit at the top of the agenda.

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Inspired Live writes:

We’ve been hearing more and more about smart cities in the last few years, with technological advancements now happening at a rapid rate. From water usage monitoring and dynamic control, to air quality management and street cleanliness, cities around the world are looking at ways to collect data and take action that could improve quality of life, manage environmental issues and boost economic growth.

It is unsurprising that urban mobility and transportation challenges sit at the top of the agenda when it comes to developing connected solutions that add value to society. And, with our focus on both the technology and automotive sectors here at Inspired, this is an area that really gets us talking.

Globally, a number of major centres have already taken significant steps into creating successful smart solutions to get their people moving.

For a while now, Singapore has been managing its traffic system by investing in road sensors, phased traffic lights and smart parking solutions. Another great example is San Francisco, a city that has experienced a recent technology boom, which has been positive for economic growth but significantly increased the amount of traffic on the roads. One of the issues this has created is the challenge to find available parking spaces. However, the city has implemented a leading smart parking solution, that allows users to access information on available parking spaces, and enables the dynamic parking system to adjust costs for parking based on level of occupancy in any one area.

A little closer to home, I recently attended a seminar on the future success of Cambridge. Cambridge has experienced major growth over recent years, with more businesses and more people occupying the city as a result. And, like San Francisco the city is experiencing major traffic problems, with an historic town centre unable to cope with modern day transportation requirements, limited and costly parking, and an out of date road system throughout the rest of the urban area that just cannot keep up with demand. With congestion being cited as the biggest single risk to the growth of the city, if anywhere needs a smart transportation solution, it is Cambridge. 

So, I was really pleased to hear Alex Plant, from Cambridge Ahead, speak about the ongoing research into a mass transportation solution – a high speed and lightweight fully autonomous smart transportation system using bus-only roads, with an underground section through the city centre, that would including smart ticketing. The solution would provide high speed city centre access to commuters from all parts of greater Cambridge, at an affordable cost. The research is one of the studies being undertaken as part of the Smart Cambridge programme.

As with Singapore and San Francisco, the success of such a solution for Cambridge has to be based on providing a tangible benefit to society – and in this case, a reliable solution with reduced commuting times and affordable cost. It’s about technology and transport industries working together to create this value and we can’t wait to see what the combination of these two dynamic sectors will bring to the future of urban motility.

 

 

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