Smart Cities Are Changing the World

Smart cities are changing the world. Smart transportation solutions are becoming more efficient, sustainable, and safer. They have brought about a new way of living and doing business. A few examples of the benefits of smart cities include:

  • Reducing traffic congestion: Smart cities use geographical information to create roads that are efficient and reduce traffic congestion

  • Reducing pollution: Due to smart city initiatives, the air quality has been improving continuously

  • Reducing the cost to operate: Smart cities use sensors to control air-conditioning systems, parking meters, and streetlights

  • Improving safety for all: With the use of smart cameras, police officers can answer calls faster to ensure safety

To deliver these benefits, forward-thinking is needed in how we plan, design, and develop our cities. In this article, we take a brief look at three key questions, using examples to demonstrate:

  1. What tools should urban planners embed into the fabric of a smart city?

  2. How are private and public organizations responding? 

  3. What is the key to success in smart transportation solutions?

5 Tools of Smart Transportation

There are many tools in smart transportation that are being used to improve urban mobility and make it easier for people to travel. 

These tools include apps for public transport, personal mobility devices, shared bikes, autonomous cars, and electric vehicles. Each has the potential to deliver faster transit times, reduced pollution levels, cleaner air quality, improved safety measures, and access to information about transit routes. Five examples are:

  1. Adaptive traffic signaling

Adaptive traffic signals work to reduce congestion and help traffic flow more efficiently by regulating when traffic signals change. Instead of old-fashioned timed signals, by using sensors signals can respond to changes in traffic flow fluidly and in real-time.

The data collected by these sensors can also be used to send signals to traffic, either through smart-connected onboard computers or to direction signaling, to direct vehicles away from congested routes.

  1. Smart public transport solutions

The introduction of AI-driven smart public transport solutions helps passengers in managing their transit time and safety. This includes providing real-time information on bus timings, service disruptions, and estimated arrival times at different stations.

  1. Bike and pedestrian solutions

Bike paths are an important part of any smart transport solution. On-road bike paths are created by taking away pavement from the roadway so that it can be replaced with smooth material such as concrete, asphalt, or cobblestone to create safer cycling in cities.

By using AI solutions to connect cycle paths and sidewalks to other transit solutions, we can increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians. This will encourage more people to walk or cycle, thus reducing congestion and pollution further.

  1. Smart parking solutions

Increasingly, city transport authorities are using sensors to measure traffic and public transport, which then provides data on when and where it is most convenient to park your vehicle. This reduces the time it takes to park, easing congestion, and reducing the fuel used to find a parking space.

  1. Vehicle to Infrastructure Technology

V2I technology is a vehicle-to-infrastructure communication system that enables vehicles to exchange information, respond to each other, and better coordinate their travel. Information that is sent includes road safety information, road congestion data, and weather alerts.

5 Incredible Smart City Transportation Projects

Private and public companies and transportation bodies are ramping up their response to smart city policymaking. Indeed, for cities to become truly smart, it is our belief that urban planners must collaborate more closely with external companies to drive the innovative solutions required.

Examples of what can be achieved and how innovative solutions are being developed include autonomous cars, spatial mobility, and intelligent public transport in smart cities. Helping to deliver these, we see solutions such as:

  1. The smart city bus, made with technology that can be remotely operated by drivers using their phone or tablet devices and GPS. The device is designed to reduce traffic accidents by detecting traffic signals, pedestrians, and cyclists, and using digital maps for navigation.

  2. Digital highways, using digital maps to provide real-time information about traffic conditions to drivers to save time, fuel, and money.

  3. Autonomous taxi cabs, utilizing artificial intelligence, allow passengers to travel from point A to B as smoothly and efficiently as possible. VW has introduced the Volkswagen ID Buzz, the world’s first autonomous electric car for public transit use, and Ford plans to have its first autonomous cars with Lyft by the end of this year.

  4. Shared mobility solutions, with reserved parking spaces for car-sharing cars. These should be close to public transport and incorporate charging points for electric vehicles.

  5. Connected vehicle solutions that include adaptive cruise control, automated route planning, and automated vehicle braking.

5 key ways for urban planners to make smart transportation a success

By implementing smart transportation solutions, urban planners have the potential to make a real difference in the world. To be successful, urban planners must:

  • Continually update the city’s growth plans with sustainable, smart design 

  • Invest into and install intelligent transportation solutions 

  • Discuss and share the importance of collaboration with communities and external stakeholders and innovative companies 

  • Make the plan easy to access 

  • Ensure they are planning not only for today’s technology but also for probable technology advances, too

5 Reasons we must strive to plan better for smart transportation

Urban planners have a level of responsibility that goes beyond simply building new homes. They need to consider everything from the urban infrastructure and the safety of people to the sustainability of their city’s transportation options. Here are five reasons urban planners must strive to plan better for smart transportation:

  1. Smart transportation is managed more effectively

The amount of data collected by smart transportation systems is huge, and with AI systems able to analyze this data in moments, and then use machine learning to continually improve, management of transportation is far more effective.

  1. Smart transportation is managed more efficiently

As management of transport is more effective, it also becomes more efficient, with improvements made continuously, including in how public transport in smart cities is managed.

  1. Smart transportation reduces costs

Costs are reduced across the whole transport infrastructure ─ from the number of employees to the amount of energy and gas consumed.

  1. Smart transportation is safer

AI-driven transport systems don’t suffer from human fatigue. They don’t get emotional or become distracted. The result? Fewer accidents and faster, more efficient journeys.

  1. Smart transportation makes cities more sustainable

Reduction in energy usage costs to manage, and the number of accidents improve the lives of a city’s population. Combined with lower energy use and lower pollution, our urban centers will become more sustainable.

At ACB Consulting, we are committed to helping improve the communities in which we live, work, and play – including how they are conceived, designed and created. To learn more, contact ACB Consulting.

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