Since the population keeps growing and more cars are on the streets, mobility in the cities has been more chaotic in recent years. According to Statista, congestion costs US cities billions every year. New York and Los Angeles are the ones with the biggest losses. One of the possible solutions to this problem is the smart transportation implementation.
Understanding smart transportation
Smart transportation is the use of technologies like IoT devices, sensors, internet, cloud computing, and other systems to improve or optimize mobility.
If we can use technology into the transportation systems of a city, we can connect humans, vehicles, and the city. Imagine having the opportunity to advance faster on a traffic light because a sensor detected that there is a lot of traffic on your way, then, this sensor can trigger an alert to let the cars pass and avoid congestion in a short time.
Need a bus ride? No problem. With a smart transportation system using IoT you can get alerts on your phone related to the time the next bus will arrive at the station. Thanks to sensors distributed around the city, and a tracking device, the app can monitor in real time the distance, speed, and occupancy of the bus. According to this data, you can decide whether you want to wait for that bus, or take another smart bus transportation to reach your destination.
Smart public transportation sounds more attractive than being stuck in a traffic jam with your car. Of course, there is stress and tension. You also need to pay attention to everything around you before advancing.
Smart transportation in smart city
Smart transportation can be helpful for pedestrians, drivers, and the environment. However, it is necessary to implement smart cities around this.
A smart city requires a whole integration of its infrastructure with smart transportation systems to make it more efficient. For instance, roads won’t be only integrated with traffic lights, speed cameras, and sensors, but also, they will connect to all entities of the city, such as the government, stores, construction sites, churches, hospitals, schools, universities, police stations, among others.
Why do we need that level of integration? We will give you two smart city transportation examples.
Smart transportation examples
First scenario, the IoT systems that are integrated in the transportation area allow people to work better. Let’s say you want to leave your office for a meeting outside and have a limited time to get there. Through smart transportation systems, you could check the status of the city and analyze the alternatives you have to get on time to your meeting. Thanks to AI and the different sensors installed in the city, you can get a predictive analysis on the time you will take with different transportation options and choose the best option. This will result satisfactory to you since mobility won’t represent a problem to you.
Second scenario, you need to get to a concert and you are on the other side of the city. The integration of the smart city with smart transportation helps people to have better lives, since there is a travel time improvement. Through a smart mobility app, you can check what streets are going to be congested from the moment you leave your house. This app will alert you that there may be a parade on a specific avenue, car accidents on an important street, a fire in a company, or a robbery in a bank. The integration of the fireman department, police stations, and the town hall will provide you with sufficient information to make the best decision on what route to take.
Smart transportation reduces pollution
The air pollution that is generated in traffic jams increases the health risks, the people not only inhale dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide that affect the lungs, but they also suffer from stress that can lead to premature deaths.
Smart transportation brings the possibility to reduce incidents on the way, to control speed limits, and to make mobility more pleasant. This also means the pollution caused by carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced. Therefore, people are less exposed to stress, accidents, and polluted air.
On the other hand, by implementing smart transportation systems with the help of IoT technologies, the environment will be less contaminated, since the vehicles that are stuck in traffic jams affecting the air quality won’t be emitting carbon dioxide for a long time.
As you can see, smart transportation can bring a lot of benefits to a city, it reduces pollution, there is less time wasted on traffic jams, and the mobility is optimized. There is still a lot to do in this area, but we know IoT technologies will continue to impact positively in the cities in the future years.