Smart Cities Support Innovative Mobility & Sustainability
Published on : Sunday 05-06-2022
Smart cities need sustainable infrastructures to support innovative mobility and sustainability, says Jasbir Singh.
Smart cities are linked to smart mobility solutions with effective connectivity for collaborative ecosystems and meetings for encouraging innovations and reaching sustainable goals. These challenges are inherently connected to urban mobility in a rapidly changing landscape created by smart city planners. Focused strategies of accelerated city mobility are part of smart city planning to improve urban mobility. These plans are unique to each city and under each environment.
1. Strategy of superior urban mobility considers the public's desire for safe, clean, reliable, and affordable ways to move from one place to another and return.
2. Designing effective, reasonable, predictable, safe and secure public transport systems, coupled with mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) digital payment platform.
3. Vehicle innovation for least pollution creation, high speed, safe, traveller acceptance as part of a transport system which is well connected, shared, with no waiting, fast and having effortless transit.
4. Innovative mobility solutions by digital analytic for no traffic congestion and advance prediction for route diversion.
5. Developing sustainable infrastructure with integration of digital and physical connectivity to support innovative mobility.
5. Incorporating government policies to promote quality and affordable mass transportation systems for daily office and industry workers.
6. Strengthening rules based on government policies for the adherence of air quality standards to improve quality-of-life.
The consideration of people are the places where urban mobility meets the travellers’ need/expectation for reliable and affordable ways to travel from one place to another and back in a safe and clean environment. City planners are looking for ways to improve urban mobility by reducing congestion, accidents and pollution free movement on every hour of day, throughout the year.
European system mobility plan
In Europe1, a new set of rules for the road transport sector became applicable across the EU. The rule package is essential to ensure good implementation and enforcement of the road transport legislation, providing a balance between the social protection of drivers and the freedom of operators to provide cross-border transport services. To help the sector correctly apply these rules, the Commission services prepared a first set of guidance documents, which will be gradually complemented by further guidance, where necessary. To support the transition to cleaner, greener, and smarter mobility, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Commission adopted four proposals that will modernise the EU’s transport system. By increasing connectivity and shifting more passengers and freight to rail and inland waterways, by supporting the roll-out of charging points, alternative refuelling infrastructure, and new digital technologies, by placing a stronger focus on sustainable urban mobility, and by making it easier to choose different transport options in an efficient multimodal transport system, the proposals will put the transport sector on track to cutting its emissions by 90%.
The EU’s new Urban Mobility Framework will benefit transport users and all the people around them. Cities are home to millions of people. It will address the mobility challenges stemming from this intense economic activity – congestion, emissions, noise. The Urban Mobility Framework sets out European guidance on how cities can cut emissions and improve mobility, including via Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. The main focus will be on public transport, walking and cycling. The proposal also prioritises zero-emission solutions for urban fleets, including taxis and ride-hailing services, the last mile of urban deliveries, and the construction and modernisation of multimodal hubs, as well as new digital solutions and services.
Free mobility of city travellers
In a smart city, if people have continuing car dependence, it will lead to imminent traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions/pollution and on road safety problems for urban planners of smart cities. The reason for vehicular traffic congestion might not be lack of road capacity or infrastructure, but demand management which can be met by movement of traffic through alternate routes for the same destination. City planners recognise the benefits of a mass public transport system in reducing pollution and congestion, but for comfort and quick movement, taxis are among fast and easy options. These options of movement are a threat to cities for increasing pollution and congestion. This mode of transportation also reduces public transport ridership. Public transport is an unacceptable option for users if its pickup/transit stops are far from their home/work place. Other options for citizen-centric travels are by using/integrating public transport with ride-hailing, taxi ride-sharing and personal vehicle-sharing if travel destinations are close-by at either side. With this, travellers can overcome the first-mile/last-mile problem while travelling, which can be an even better option than the mass transit system.
Safety while on road
Urban population density is increasing and a movement is seen towards smart cities. It moves in tandem with cars, lorries, trucks and other public transport vehicles like buses sharing the same crowded streets with users like motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, making the task challenging of providing safe mobility. The safety issue is becoming further complicated due to unsafe driving habits, intoxicated drivers, long distance night driving and insufficient infrastructure for cycling and pedestrians.
Research carried out by universities about transport poverty, means someone suffers from this when some segment of people faces issues concerning availability, travel time, accessibility, affordability or adequacy of different transport options present a barrier to them. Transport poverty has a harsh effect in diverse segments of society. People don’t have equitable access to education, employment, healthcare services and social acceptability. Our present transport planning system does not support people who can’t afford a vehicle (car or two-wheeler), struggle against rising public transport fares, fuel prices and lack access to public transport due to age, affordability, disability or location where they live.
Urban mobility solutions
The urban mobility solution in smart city offers a multimodal solution for travelling options such as public transport, vehicle sharing, bike sharing, on-demand services and ride hailing. The use of mobile apps, customers can book and pay for mobility through a multiple account option. Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform facilitates the use of multimode transport service and enables payments via a single interface from multiple linked accounts.
App based smart solutions for traveller
With the help of apps, users can get the travel assistant where the app guides/advises on demand the best time and method of transport to reach the desired destination, and with real-time updates on road blocks, jams and other delays. These apps help reduce transport-induced CO2 emissions and prevent many car trips.
Intelligent traffic management solution (ITMS)
Intelligent traffic management solutions can provide decisions supported by artificial intelligence. ITMS smart city traffic management solution offers intelligent services such as road user information, change of traffic light cycles, and dynamic changes in road traffic movement in desired location. This ITMS mobility solution is also designed to support transport authorities to meet strategic goals of minimising vehicle emission levels with better movement planning and reducing traffic congestion in many areas.
App-based parking in smart city
Cloud-based smart app-based parking provides parking user, managers with accurate data on vacant parking space parking usage to managers of service providers and also for easy navigation in a smart city. This will help to reduce emission due to idle running vehicles in search of parking slots.
Smart city mobility solution to reduce CO2 emissions
A European innovator has developed an app for scooter sharing with a fleet of electric scooters deployed in smart cities. By using the app, customers can book and get the service of free-floating scooters in nearby areas and pay after calculating the minutes of usage. This e-mobility solution aims to improve the easy transportation, user’s quality of life, and zero CO2 emissions.
Public transport dynamic support
The modernisation of urban transport infrastructure of smart cities requires a fleet management of transport bus vehicles. In this GSM and GPRS equipment installed on the transport vehicles (buses) and an electronic display at bus stops in its route to provide dynamic information to passengers for bus arrival. This will improve user experience by quality of urban mobility.
The adoption of software on autonomous technologies for transportation can yield benefits by improving travel times, eliminating road fatalities, saving billions of hours lost to commuting and congestion.
Jasbir Singh is an Automation Expert having long experience in Factory Automation, Line Automation, Implementation Strategist, Business Coach, Regular writer on automation, Artificial Intelligence, Robots/Cobots, Digital Technology, Network Communication, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Wireless Communication, Block Chain and use of advance digital technologies. He has established a long association with Business Houses/large production houses to improve factory automation in their production lines as well as productivity improvement in factories in India and overseas; and in advising and designing the units to transform into digital platforms by use of Artificial Intelligence. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org