Smart transport networks play key role in urbanization

Smart transport networks play key role in urbanization
Smart transport networks, also known as intelligent transport systems, entail the application and integration of information and communication technologies to optimize and coordinate transport services and infrastructure. With urbanization progressing rapidly across the globe, smart transport networks will play a more important role and can benefit operators, passengers and municipal administrators alike.
 
That’s the main point raised by Synectics in its recent whitepaper titled “Smart Transport Networks: Integration, Interoperability, and IoT.”
 
The paper begins with noting the inevitable trend of urbanization and the role smart transportation will play amid this trend. “By 2020, it’s estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities and as such, ‘urban metabolism’ has to improve; infrastructure needs to be smarter,” it said. “And when it comes to urban services, few are more vital than transport. Enabling smarter transport networks, where disparate modes of transport and management systems are connected and converged, is essential to meeting smart city objectives.”
 
According to the paper, thanks to IoT devices and the data they generate, smart transport networks are becoming more available, bringing benefits to each of the three primary stakeholders, namely operators, passengers and administrators.
 

Operators

 
The paper focuses this section on benefits to bus operators, who can enjoy reduced fuel and operations cost and offer safer and more secure services. “To help avoid serious delays, GPS location data for every bus is fed back to a central management system. Sensors like accelerometers and the CANBus network capture every aspect of the vehicle, from speed and throttle opening to braking rate and severity. As well as helping to enforce driving standards for safety, this aids fuel efficiency and reduces operating costs,” the whitepaper said.
 

Passengers

 
For passengers, they benefit by getting trustworthy, on-time public transport, being able to access instant travel information, and enjoying faster, easier and safer travel. “When the passenger starts the first leg of their journey to the airport, they already know if the train or bus will be on time via the app on their smartphone. The passenger buys their ticket with the same app’s convenient open payment system, then uses it seamlessly across all local transport networks, regardless of the operator,” the paper said. “A Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and IoT enabled baggage tag sends an alert if their suitcase is moved, so it can be safely left unattended in the luggage rack. The tag lets both passengers and operators track luggage location at all times within the smart transport network. Settled in their seat, the passenger checks their phone again for any SMS or in-app notifications regarding their current journey and upcoming connections.”
 

Municipalities

 
For cities that offer smart transport networks, they benefit by getting a boost in tourism and employment, while seeing their cities become greener and cleaner due to lower energy use and emissions. “Smart transport networks remain the most urgent urban priority. Here, convergence encompasses not just public mass transit systems but all vehicle sensors, roadside and pedestrian detection sensors, traffic lights, and even shipping,” the paper said. “People-flow and occupancy data passed from IoT sources as varied as escalators, turnstiles or building management systems help city authorities sense upcoming transportation challenges.”
 
The paper concludes by arguing that smart transport networks are enabled by systems integration, interoperability and automation, all of which are made possible by IP. “So migrating from analog to IP devices and systems is the fundamental change needed to support larger smart transport networks,” it said. “The IoT has made smart transport networks possible. Open protocol command and control surveillance technology, convergence and IP networks are making it practical – right here, right now.”
 


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