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Technologies Driving the Future of Smart Mobility

Image credits: smartcitiesworld.net

By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban settings, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This poses some significant challenges for local authorities and city planners, as they strive to balance a good, safe quality of life for local inhabitants and commuters with carbon reduction targets and available funding.

Technology offers a big part of the solution – especially where this supports smarter and more coordinated means of managing infrastructure and its capacity, and when it enables advantageous collaborations between the multiple infrastructure and service providers as well as public-private partnerships across an urban region.

Smart mobility involves leveraging technology and innovation to manage multiple forms of transport in more efficient, resilient and sustainable ways, making the best use of available capacity, ensuring continuous mobility services despite disruptive incidents and encouraging the take-up of greener options.

Technology plays an important role in driving these benefits. From collecting and aggregating data to analysing and making sense of the data from various modes of transport and infrastructures (trains, buses, autonomous shuttles, and road junctions). Smart mobility solutions integrate drivers, vehicles and infrastructure to optimise transport management and operations and provide more informed travel information to commuters.

With an AI-driven intelligent traffic management system, cities can experience significant improvement in traffic management and operations with ecological and business benefits through strategic data-sharing across the city’s transport ecosystem. Not only does it cater to the city’s current needs, it also provides for future expansion of road networks

Technologies present vast opportunities to manage traffic proactively with data-driven insights; to automatically detect incidents for faster response; to more efficiently and effectively manage bottlenecks on the road; and to identify and target traffic violations – resulting in smoother traffic, reduced congestion and carbon emission, as well as safer journeys for all.

Smart urban traffic management systems have the potential to leverage emerging technologies such as connected vehicles, faster connectivity, edge computing and IoT, to provide more efficient traffic management and information dissemination between vehicles, infrastructure, commuters and public transport systems, to achieve a more integrated, cohesive and sustainable transport ecosystem that benefits cities of the future.

One of the areas which urban planners should look into is to optimise junction management by leveraging technology and digitalisation to manage traffic junctions in smarter ways. Through smart junction management, real-time traffic data can be analysed to offer predictive and pre-emptive signal control, and it can also automatically recognise traffic changes and self-adapt for traffic flow optimisation.

Leveraging technology and a human-centric approach, Singapore has identified several key solutions that overcome mobility challenges and address the current and future transport needs of cities. These include urban traffic and highway unified management, smart junction, public transport fleet management and smart car parks.

These tech-enabled solutions leverage AI, big-data analytics, IoT and emerging technologies to better understand, visualise and manage the dynamic relationship between supply infrastructure and mobility demand. They enable the deployment of a wider range of mobility services such as multi-modal transportation and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

Drawing on connected sensors and AI-enabled analytics, autonomous vehicle technologies are developed to overcome some of the challenges associated with self-driving to achieve stringent safety adherence during operations. To perform safely and effectively, vehicle systems must be able to recognise every object and environmental variable the vehicle might encounter in real-world scenarios and respond safely to all situations on the road.

Other opportunities for smart mobility management include smart car park systems which guide users to vacant places, identify them via automatic number plate recognition to provide hassle-free entry and exit and allow them to conveniently pay parking fees via their mobile phones. Besides improving operational efficiency for car park operators, it also saves drivers a lot of time and frustration, reduces congestion from driving around looking for vacant lots and also contributes to cleaner air for all.

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