Eduardo Soares
Blog post

​Intelligent Mobility: How Technology Is Solving Challenges for Smart Cities​

Learn how mobility solutions are shaping the future of smart cities with real-time syncing of parking, traffic light, transportation, and GPS data.

June 04, 2019

5 mins read

​When cities were born, no one imagined so many people would exist in the same place. The world has gone from villages to metropoles with millions of residents.

When you build a family home, you design a project that considers all areas of the land: where you want the house, the swimming pool, etc. Now imagine you buy the lot next to yours and want to expand your house. The second project will be an extension of the first. But the two projects won’t be fully integrated, as you didn’t consider the neighboring lot initially.

That’s what happened to cities! ​

With population growth, many problems started to appear. Increased pollution and more traffic jams, for example, are caused not only by more cars but also by bad parking arrangements – which are usually responsible for about 30% of a city’s traffic and 10% of its CO2 emissions. Population growth also makes it harder for cities to have efficient public transportation systems, as distances increase and there’s more demand on the system. There’s a need for new lines and for more efficient planning of how resources are used. When we speak about private transportation, an increase in the number of cars and old street layouts also makes it harder for the traffic flow to be kept at a good rate.

But beyond these easy-to-identify problems of big cities exist other problems related to security, tax compliance, and so on.​

But beyond these easy-to-identify problems of big cities exist other problems related to security, tax compliance, and so on.

How technology deals with everyday mobility issues

​How can technology help cities? There are many ways of organizing demand and making people’s lives easier through better use of resources.

At Intellias, we’ve been helping clients approach these problems and bring the best solutions to city residents.

One good example of how technology deals with mobility issues is a custom mobility platform we developed for one of our clients. This platform delivers rich transit navigation data based on online timetables and real-time location and arrival feeds, making a transportation system more effective for users. ​

​Another example of a smart city project we’ve worked on is a cloud-based solution created to be a single source of information for vehicles, road infrastructure, and people so that hazard alerts can be shared in real time with road users and incident managers.

The most common challenges that smart city projects cover are parking lot issues, public transportation, security and tax inspection, and traffic management. Let’s take a look at how technology can overcome each of these challenges and make cities more sustainable.

Parking issues

Imagine your car is connected to the city traffic agency and to a parking application that can show you available parking spots near your destination together with a scheme that shows you the best way to park. You can also select if you want the cheapest or the closest place, for example, and use the application to reserve a parking spot on the go. Companies like VW and T-Mobile are investing in these types of solutions and are running pilot projects in cities around the globe.

​Intelligent Mobility: How Technology Is Solving Challenges for Smart Cities​

Source – Ertico Network

Public transportation

All different types of public transportation can be connected to the same database, synchronizing transport with each other and supplying users with real-time information on the transportation system so they can decide on the best route to their destination. This already happens with cars, but there’s still a need to integrate public transportation systems in main city areas like business areas or city centers. In some cities like Madrid, a first stage solution is being used. It doesn’t connect all user points, but it already shares some real-time information so people can better plan their transportation.

​Intelligent Mobility: How Technology Is Solving Challenges for Smart Cities​

Source – No Camels

Security and tax inspection

​Cameras on buildings together with city-operated cameras can help cities manage resources and become safer. Imagine a world where all those cameras are connected and able to detect atypical occurrences and notify the police. As an example, a camera could recognize someone approaching a car with a gun and leaving with the car. This information could instantly be shared with authorities and the police could start searching for the stolen vehicle.

Or let’s imagine we live in a big city like São Paulo in Brazil, where you have tens of millions of cars and it’s almost impossible to inspect all of them. Cameras that are used to control speed could also control payment of taxes, identifying which cars aren’t up-to-date and fining them accordingly.​

​Intelligent Mobility: How Technology Is Solving Challenges for Smart Cities​
Source – The Daily Scholar

Traffic management

Cities are investing in technologies to ease traffic congestion, and many different solutions have been implemented around the world. Siemens and IBM are at the forefront of this market. One example of such a solution is the traffic light management system developed by the city of Irvine in California. This system calculates the arrival time of a group of cars to guarantee that the next traffic light will be green when they arrive.

​Intelligent Mobility: How Technology Is Solving Challenges for Smart Cities​
Source – It’s Intenational

​In some cities, all the traffic lights are connected to sensors that control the number of cars stopped at each light and synchronize the light cycles to guarantee the best traffic flow. Just by doing this, cities are capable of greatly increasing the flow of traffic.

Some applications (like Waze) allow drivers to connect and share real-time information about traffic jams, accidents, etc. By doing so, the application can calculate and suggest alternative routes for drivers, taking them off the main roads and allowing them to arrive at their destinations in the shortest time possible.

Now imagine this solution connected to local authorities and containing all the city’s traffic-related and infrastructure-related information. This could be a game changer.

What will the city of tomorrow look like?

Cities of the future will have sensors that analyze all available data. By combining different sources, city management will be able to organize the demand for mobility in a way that will better the lives of residents. At the same time, it will help manage resources and optimize costs. This will have a big impact not only on city management but on people’s lives, reducing stress and lowering the pollution index.

How can Intellias help?

​Intellias has deep expertise developing tailor-made solutions for companies that want to transform the environment. With our knowledge of IoT and digital transformation, we can help you find the best solution for a city’s actual problems, helping you save time and money.

If your company wants to disrupt the future of cities, we can take your project from concept to final product, analyzing all possible implementations, designing the most user-friendly interface, and developing a strong IT system that will guarantee the best outcomes for your company.​ ​

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