Cubic Transportation Systems has is predicting that the new year will bring an integrated approach to smart ticketing, integrated personal mobility and further advances in autonomous vehicles.
Writing for Smart Highways, the company says the three issues will move on significantly over the next twelve months.
Its predictions in full are:
Single approach to smart ticketing
A single integrated and easily accessible ticketing system covering multiple regions and modes of travel is central to the idea of smart travel. A single travel account will help enable economic growth, especially in North England, and should be available to the whole of the UK, not just accessed by London’s city-dwellers.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will make the initiative a priority for his tenure, rolling it out within the next two years. Speaking at the North of England Transport Summit last week, he said, “Passengers should not have to carry a Manchester card, a Leeds card and a different one for each city and for longer journeys, bar codes on mobile phones should be available. The whole transport sector should move very rapidly towards this.”
Improved transport services will encourage greater inter-modality across cities through a compelling customer proposition. In turn, this will boost the Northern England economy, improve network optimisation and lead to reduced congestion on the surrounding highways.
Northern England is taking all the right steps in making integrated ticketing a reality, through its Smart North initiative. Once implemented, the scheme will bring Northern England benefits comparable to what the Ventra card, Oyster card and contactless payment have brought commuters and transport service operators in other major cities around the world, such as Chicago and London.
We are not far off from seeing futuristic transport concepts, such as driverless cars, become a reality in the UK. We are already seeing adoption of this technology in its infancy helped by large funding projects, such as Innovate UK’s ambition for full automation on our roads, and Chancellor Philip Hammond’s allocation of £390 million in the most recent Autumn Statement to bolster the development of low emission and autonomous vehicles.
However, the adoption rate of innovation doesn’t necessary just depend on the technological possibilities, but also the social implications. The technology must ensure that all passengers have paid via a valid contactless payment method on the autonomous bus – is it safe to remove bus drivers who enforce revenue protection and a certain level of safety to passengers? Would we be conformable reducing the level of child supervision? This social dynamic creates new challenges which need to be looked at and considered thoroughly.
To fully understand what the future of transport will look like, we need to look far beyond vehicle technology.
Integrated personal mobility
Smart devices will soon become the central organisational tool for all trip planning and mobility personalisation. All modes of transport will be integrated, as mobility services become mobility providers, enabling seamless, on-demand journeys. Timetables and choice of transport mode will become a thing of the past as travellers will only need to know what time to leave and when they’ll reach their destination.
This will require open use of personal data, which will transform mass transit networks despite wider concerns. An open data system, where commuters use a single travel account for all travel transactions and information – whether that’s public transport, walking, using the bike, using Uber, and so on – would give the city unprecedented insight into how people commute and what’s behind their travel choices.
However, many cities face a major challenge – growing populations are placing pressure on current infrastructure systems, leading to congestion and inefficiency. The key to engaging the public with this is the condition that data is used responsibly and for the greater good. This anonymous data is given to third-party app developers who can then use it to release innovative apps that revolutionise the way we approach travelling.
Collaboration and integration of mobility providers, technology and data investments, and an open ecosystem for sharing real-time journey data are just a few of the necessary changes the transport industry will need to make. The future of people movement is on the verge of evolving beyond anything we have ever known before.
When it comes to the near future of Humans on Earth, the future that our children will experience - and this is the subject of this essay - literature is obviously speculative and readily theoretical. Francis Pisani avoids this double trap with ease, which is what makes his work quite fascinating. How is it ? These intelligent cities in which several billion people will live one day, he saw the first, embryonic or already formed, in China, India, Asia, Latin America and Europe. As a journalist, he investigated on the spot, questioned the actors as witnesses, prioritized his information and cross-checked his sources, which he did not fail to mention. As a writer, he gathered the pieces of his puzzle and made it appear intelligence. The result is the description, in simple words and in a fluid logic, of what we are going to do - to manage the urban space in which we are going to live.
Keolis Rennes has launched an experiment to facilitate the mobility of disabled persons by connected sensors. An innovation that is part of Keolis's desire to use the full potential of the Internet of Objects to enrich the customer experience and strengthen the Group's operational performance.
A Keolis innovation to find a parking space reserved for disabled persons in real time
Since July 2016, two car parks of the city of Rennes, one outdoor, the other underground, are equipped with sensors of car detection installed in places reserved for people with reduced mobility (PMR). Thanks to a Sigfox low-speed network, the information coming from the sensors is broadcast to the open data portal of Keolis Rennes, which processes all the data of the STAR network, the public transport network of Rennes Métropole operated by Keolis. The data on available "PMR" places are then integrated and accessible to motorists in real time on the various mobile applications powered by the data portal. This data is also accessible on the application of the supplier of objects detecting the presence of cars. To develop this solution, Keolis Rennes and Keolis, have teamed up with the start-ups Parkisseo which provides the sensors and Intesens, supplier of the connectivity solution.
Keolis connects to the Internet of Objects
For Keolis, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the coming years represents an opportunity to create new uses in public transit.In addition to direct interaction with customers through their watches and other connected wristbands, the IoT is a powerful lever for enhancing the operational performance of its networks and enhancing passenger satisfaction.In this context, the Group and its experts in innovation launched a project dedicated to industrial Internet (declination of IoT to the industrial field).
Many ways of applying industrial IoT to public transport
Low-cost and simple to deploy within networks and on rolling stock, sensors connected to low-speed networks can collect a wide variety of data: moisture, vibration, fluid leakage, electrical or magnetic measurements, voltage, temperature , Acceleration or inclination, luminosity ... All these measures make it possible to optimize operations and maintenance activities at lower cost, for example:
- Control of energy consumption - Optimization of vehicle parking in depots - Control of the water consumption of the washing stations and monitoring of the washing of buses or trams - Vibration detection to anticipate heavy maintenance operations that can impact the network
20.8 Billion connected objects worldwide (According to the US consulting firm GARTNER)
2 Billion connected objects sold in France by 2020 according to the GFK Institute
Ebène Cybercity is Mauritius’s hi-tech hub, and home to Africa’s internet registry platform. Photograph: Christopher Schuetze for the Guardian
As the fruit bat flies, it’s only 300 metres from Cyber Tower 1 to the massive food court and commercial centre that was built to service Ebène Cybercity – the hi-tech office community on the outskirts of Mauritius’s capital, Port Louis.
But walking from the ostentatious lobby of Cyber Tower 1 to the shops and restaurants can take 20 minutes – if you don’t get lost along the way. The fastest route by foot bisects car parks, traverses overgrown vacant lots, and stumbles over temporary walkways past some of the biggest businesses on the island.
Both an urban planning disaster and – for many proud Mauritians – the very definition of modern office life, Cybercity was first proposed by the government in 2001 as a high-tech hub, and now houses almost 25,000 mostly educated, middle-class workers during the week. While the development can be criticised for a shocking lack cohesiveness, poor public transport, limited parking or even difficult access by foot, its creation did bring many aspects of modern connected life to Mauritian workers.
Though not officially part of Cybercity, the headquarters of the Mauritian Commercial Bank took its inspiration from the planned community
“In Europe when we talk about smart cities, we think of revitalisation of existing cities,” says Bertrand Moingeon, a professor at HEC in Paris who studies urban development in Mauritius. “But in many places in Africa, including Mauritius, so-called smart city developments actually do the opposite: they create exclusive urban cities far away from the dust, chaos and inequality of the existing cityscape,” Moingeon explains. “It goes against social inclusiveness.”Rashiq Fataar, an urbanist based in South Africa, agrees that many smart-city projects on the continent are based on the desire to start with a fresh slate. “The whole goal is to plan from scratch. Especially for the private sector, it’s all about planning and controlling.”
The city of Moscow has been awarded the 2016 Transport Achievement Award for what the judges say is its “exemplary approach” to improving traffic conditions in the Russian capital.
The prize, awarded by the International Transport Forum (ITF), is in recognition of a series of initiatives to reduce congestion following 20 years of almost uncontrolled development of urban traffic.
Over the past five years Moscow has introduced a “rigorous and comprehensive” set of policies to address the gridlock on its streets, reducing the number of cars in central Moscow by 25% and increasing the average speed of traffic by 12%, despite 600 new cars being registered in the area each day.
In 2013, Moscow traffic was ranked as worst in the world by the TomTom Traffic Index. In the 2016 edition it has improved to fifth place in that index.
The ITF jury recognized the “impressive achievement in improving overall traffic in Moscow.” In particular, the jurors highlighted “the effectiveness of coherent, coordinated initiatives and policy actions that facilitated this remarkable change.”
Measures put into place in Moscow include:
Paid car parking: Paid parking was introduced in 2012 and since then has systematically expanded to areas with high car traffic. Within the framework of a policy designed to build civilized parking space, more than 67 000 paid parking spaces have been introduced since 2012, including 7 000 parking places for disabled people. Parking violations in Moscow fell by 65%. Paid parking has generated €90 million in revenues over that period. These funds are used to improve the neighborhoods where fees are collected; residents decide how to allocate funds.
Development of public transport: Moscow’s city transport handles over 15 million passenger journeys per day. Since 2010, 34 kilometres of subway track were added, 18 new metro stations built and about 1 500 new subway cars purchased. Over the same period, the capital city’s fleet has been updated significantly. More than 5 000 new buses, 538 trolleybuses and 150 trams were added to service the routes. The route network has been optimised. More than 100 new routes have been created for surface transport, 230 kilometres of bus lanes built, more than 5,000 stops renovated and 552 electronic information boards installed. 98% of the transit fleet servicing the routes is wheelchair-accessible.
Innovative ticketing: More than 50% of trips in Moscow use electronic travel cards called “Troika”, introduced in 2013, which has reduced queues at ticket windows by one third, drastically cut the number of ticket purchases from surface transport drivers, and saved around €15 million on the production of paper tickets. To stimulate the use of long-term passes, prices have been lowered for unlimited ride passes. An intermodal 90-minute ticket makes transfers easier, cheaper and more popular.
Governance reform in public transport: Contracts for above-ground transport are now awarded through open competitive tenders. Bidders must guarantee standards set by the Moscow city government, including comfortable buses, payment via city transit passes, unified schedules, and provide free transit for eligible passengers. Contracts for 211 city routes have been awarded to commercial operators, with operations scheduled to start in mid-2016.
Development of cycling: In 2015, 880,000 bike trips were made using the city’s shared bicycles, an eightfold increase over the previous year. 2,600 bicycles are available to city dwellers at 300 automatic bike stations. From 2011 to 2015, the total length of bike paths increased nearly hundredfold, from 2.3 kilometers to 216 kilometers. Legislation was changed to allow cyclists to use bus lanes and to take bicycles on surface transport for free. In 2016, by way of experiment, a sharing system of electric bicycles will be launched.
Car sharing and taxi reform: Moscow’s first short-term car sharing system started operations in 2015. Today, it has a pool of 550 cars and more than 70,000 registered users who have taken over 220,000 trips since its inception. Taxis account for 260,000 daily rides in Moscow. Problems with unregulated cab services, including the use of potentially unsafe cabs, have been addressed through the issue of more than 60,000 official permits to cab drivers.
Environmental requirements for cargo vehicles: To improve the environmental situation and to reduce polluting emissions into the air, restrictions were imposed on truck transits through the city in 2013. Only trucks conforming to the emission standard Euro-3 or higher are allowed to enter Moscow’s downtown. More than 900 road cameras monitor truck traffic on a daily basis. These controls and other regulatory measures had helped reduce the air pollution level by 11% by 2015.
“For many years, Muscovites believed that traffic jams were simply the price to pay for living in a big city. This has changed”, said Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow. “Our achievements in fighting the traffic gridlock have been made possible by the efforts of an effective team of professionals who believe in the power to make substantive changes. This important international award encourages us to continue this work.”
Big Data has not finished surprising us, and come to revolutionize the economy by transforming the approach to whole sectors. The flow analysis of massive data in real time, to make concrete decisions, is a major challenge for the cities of tomorrow. According to Philippe Torres, board director and digital strategy at L'Atelier BNP Paribas, and co-author of the study "Big Data, Big Economy", the biggest potential to use the power of Big Data is also in the field Smart City. Will the data to make our cities smarter? Yes, and the transformation has already begun.
The Smart City is a reality
Less pollution, waste management optimized, more parking problems and even an optimized energy management as necessary ... The fantasy of intelligent city is not new. The concept of "smart cities" dragging on for years, even decades, with the sweet dream that the city of tomorrow will improve our lives. For now, the experiments about smart cities remained limited to sporadic trials. But the emergence of the power of Big Data, and connected objects, upsets this finding.
Bluffing examples of what technology offers is now visible. These include the city of Songdo, about 60 km from Seoul, South Korea. Cisco has launched projects related to the concept of smart city since 2000. The prehistory in data! ◾RFID chips can track the real-time traffic, and every person to know the live traffic conditions; ◾Waste is collected directly from the residents, as required. More trucks to collect garbage; ◾Connected bracelets can detect abnormalities such as missing children on the way to school; ◾Public lighting is done in real time, depending on occupancy.
How Big Data can make our cities smarter?
The example of Songdo, but also other initiatives, gives ideas to major cities around the world. "What is interesting in this application is that the people themselves become a channel of information feedback that will help cities to further optimize their services," says Philippe Torres in the columns of the Digital Factory. How Big Data acts concretely? ◾It can help reduce emissions and drastically limit pollution. An intelligent traffic management can be implemented using sensors in roads to decongest areas and better balance the traffic flows. We limit unnecessary travel and promotes "soft" travel; ◾It can provide an answer to the eternal problem of parking. Again, with sensors, a car will soon be guided to a parking "free", the exact location will be sent for example by GPS; ◾It can make a real reduction in energy requirements. As such, the development of smart grids (intelligent network electrics) is a good example. Optimize production, distribution, consumption, it becomes possible with the data users; ◾It can respond to management issues. The density and compactness are not the only answers to the cities of tomorrow. Depending on the required functional diversity, architectural choices can be made in an informed manner.
Source: Rémi Vidal, May 17th, 2016 - Alphalyr Blog
Niti Aayog decided to come out with mobility planning tool kits to facilitate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
New Delhi: With the Indian urban population expected to reach 600 million by 2030, the government’s think tank Niti Aayog has decided to come out with mobility planning tool kits to facilitate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
The planning and project design and implementation tool kits developed with the help of experts, state governments and local urban body authorities would focus on small (1 to 10 lakh inhabitants) and medium (10 to 50 lakh inhabitants) sized cities. They would promote developing public transportation like city bus services and bus road transit (BRT). Besides, they would also make urban areas complete streets with provisions for people can walk, cycle and park.
The decision was taken in March when during Niti Aayog’s consultation with states and urban local bodies, it was revealed that they lacked sufficient institutional and individual capacities to implement such solutions.
Advisor Sunit Sanghi and director Jeetendra Singh of Managing Urbanisation Verticals in Niti Aayog said urban transport systems should facilitate more of walking, cycling and travel by public transport rather than personal motor vehicle. Some work has been done in this regard but it is quite fragmented and there is a need to develop simple, clear and lucid framework documents and holistic guidelines for cities, particularly the smaller and medium sized ones. It will help them to plan, implement, maintain and operate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
In urban areas, efficient and affordable mobility is important to ensure easy access for citizens to labour markets and places of education and leisure. Lack of proper mobility can make cities non-inclusive as the poor and vulnerable sections would not be able to access the labour markets.
Sanghi and Singh, in their Niti Aayog blog, said that the augmentation in infrastructure of roads and flyovers and more parking space in cities has led to increase in the ownership of cars and motorbikes. As a result, Indian cities were witnessing more and more congestion on streets, leading to air and noise pollution and posing serious health hazards for citizens. In cities like Bengaluru, the situation has reached such alarming levels that citizens are spending over 3-4 hours a day commuting between home and work. The situation in Delhi is similar. Delhi tried to address this problem temporarily to some extent recently by going for the odd-even formula for a fortnight.
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In late January, the city of Los Angeles unveiled a new open data visualization tool called GeoHub. City officials say the project marks an evolution in municipal open data portals and will improve city government work and transparency.
GeoHub is a searchable directory of over 500 eclectic L.A. city datasets such as farmers markets, emergency services, construction projects, streams and rivers, volunteer opportunities, crime, performing arts centers, and many more.
The data still lives within a given department, but instead of having to find one set from the Department of Transportation and another from Health Services, GeoHub lets users navigate to all of it from one place. Perhaps most importantly, the tool presents the data as GIS maps rather than the spreadsheet lists and software files cities often provide.
“Traditionally, open data portals have just been tabular information. Data for data’s sake is never useful. You need to be able to analyze it or visual it,” says Lilian Coral, L.A.’s deputy chief data officer.
GeoHub is a big step forward for a city that was, until Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected, lagging behind its peers on the open data front.
“As a city we were sort of behind the curve for a long time,” explains Catherine Geanuracos, co-founder of the civic hacking group Hack for L.A. and member of the city’s innovation and performance commission. “When Mayor Garcetti took office, he started moving forward with open data. This is the next step on that from the city.”
By adding the data visualization piece, Geanuracos thinks the city reduced the barrier to entry somewhat.
“Makes it more accessible for a less technical audience,” she says. “That’s where we’ll start seeing unexpected uses and unexpected engagement with this data. If you don’t have to be as much of a real developer to work with the data, you can really start to engage with it in the community.”
The city has similar ideas about the benefit of making data more accessible to city employees. Though GeoHub is public facing, Coral says one of its primary functions is to encourage departments to work together.
“Departments can collaborate and share data,” she says. “When different eyes look at the same data together, you can get different perspectives and different solutions for the challenges we face.”
Geanuracos says that would be a big step forward for city departments. “The city of L.A. has been extremely siloed. Anything that prompts collaboration will be really valuable for the city overall, whether it’s planning or evaluation.”
If GeoHub does end up encouraging better use of open data by city employees it will be a marked improvement over many municipal data portals. In a blog post about the shortcomings of open data portals, former Philadelphia chief data officer Mark Headd wrote that one of the major flaws of data projects is that cities spend significant time and money to provide data without ever actually using it to create and inform their own apps to support city projects.
It’s too early to say how much L.A. city employees will take advantage of GeoHub, but Coral points out they launched the project with four demonstration apps that utilize built-in tools from Esri, the software company they worked with to create their portal.
Street Wize uses construction, city planning and other data sources to map out projects that block roads and sidewalks. In addition to potentially helping Angelenos better navigate their city, Coral says they’ve realized the tool could help emergency responders move faster through the city and are working on ways to get that data to EMTs, police and firefighters.
Another of their demonstration apps helps visualize the city’s Vision Zero work. Users can browse through maps that overlay crash data with community health and equity data, bike network location and more.
That sort of application could help anyone better understand the city’s aims for policy like Vision Zero. “In terms of the average citizen, there’s always this expectation that data can be available for anyone,” says Coral.
But, she thinks GeoHub will be most useful for “engaged citizenry” such as advocates, nonprofits, journalists and civic hackers who are likeliest to be using open data for their work.
Geanuracos certainly hopes GeoHub catches on.
“Data on its own is only one piece of the story,” she says. “You have to have educated users both inside and outside of the system and you have to have compelling use cases to make it useful for anyone … This opens up the opportunity to make it easier to ask interesting questions.”
As mentioned in a previous blog post, we have been working on a new application - smart parking - to test our IoT Tools. Using Nwave’s car parking sensors (which use the Weightless-N wireless protocol that Nominet contributed to), and our IoT Tools we have been able to quickly build a system that allows us to monitor car park usage at Nominet’s Oxford HQ in real-time. In this blog post we explain how we used the tools to rapidly build this new application.
Although the IoT tools were initially built for the Flood Network, they were designed from the outset to be flexible enough to work with any IoT application, so the smart parking project was a great opportunity to test that theory. On the surface, flood monitoring and car parking don’t appear to have much in common. However taking a step back there are consistent challenges; both applications require time and location-based data to be collected from sensors, processed, analysed and then presented visually - exactly the tasks that the IoT Tools were built for.
As with the Flood Network, one of the most challenging parts of building the smart car parking application was physically installing the sensors. However, once these were in place the rest of the process was straightforward. Configuring the car park sensor devices (and associated data streams) was a very similar process to configuring Flood Network sensors. The challenge here was to make the configuration process as quick as possible for the deployment of more than 100 devices in one go. To assist with this task we designed the Management UI to accept plug-ins, with one of these being recipes. We created a recipe that can import a CSV file with a list of device parameters (e.g. ID, name, location) and a template device. A template device is a device that has been previously defined and configured in the IoT Registry. Using this recipe it was a matter of setting up one device and replicating the same configuration for all the other devices using the parameters from the CSV file. The whole process took minutes.
Once the car park sensors were configured in our system we could immediately use the data monitoring, visualisation and analytics available in the management UI. For example, we used the time series data visualisation tool to help with verification of the magnetic calibration process used by Nwave’s sensors.
For the map visualisation, we already had a generic framework for displaying sensor timeseries on a map, and styling their associated geo-objects. Expecting that each project would have specific needs, we made it easy to plug in custom data visualisations and interactivity. For the Flood Network these timeseries are river levels, the geo-objects are the rivers themselves, and the data visualisation is the sparkline graphs.
Car parking is a very different problem from river flooding, but the core issue is still time-domain measurements of a geo-object; in this instance, the geo-objects are parallelograms representing the parking spaces, and the timeseries are their occupancy over time. Our framework was already a very good fit. All that needed to be done was the custom data visualisation; the ‘ribbon’ plot for a single space over time was easy to implement in D3 (an industry-standard library), and so was the sparkline representing total occupancy. Add in the click/touch/hover interactivity, customise the look'n'feel, and we’re done - real time car parking occupancy viewable on a map.
So what’s next? We are continuing to look at new applications to further expand the functionality the IoT Tools beyond purely sensor measurements, and are currently working with partners in the education and conservation space (more on this soon). If you are working on an IoT application and think that the IoT Tools could be of use to you too, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITS Infra is a cluster of companies focused on Intelligent Transportation Systems and with a 20-year experience in the industry. Its members are renowned manufacturers and providers of state-of-the-art ITS devices and solutions. The expertise of its members and their presence worldwide allow ITS Infra to be a recognized provider ofturnkey ITS solutions for road infrastructures and integrators worldwide.