In light of Madrid’s on again off again low emission zone law, Madrid Central, it’s important to look at Europe as a whole to see what governments are doing to cut emissions in urban areas. There are over 260 LEZ (low emission zones) throughout Europe that restrict the use of vehicles within city centers in an effort to reduce air pollution and traffic in urban areas.
The main focus today is how we can transition into smarter cities, but in countries where population growth is expected to hit the hardest they are beginning to build smart cities from the ground up. Here are a few new city projects that are trying to set the pace for the smart cities of the future.
Located just 30 kilometers from Seoul on 600 hectors of reclaimed land from on the Yellow sea, Songdo was commissions in 2001 to be the first smart city built from the ground up. Expectations were high for the city, with the vision of it being an international hub for foreigner and South Koreans alike. Now, running behind schedule and not attracting as many inhabitants as originally planned, the future of Songdo and its attractiveness have been questioned recently.
This ambitious project in Saudi Arabia, broke ground this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Funded by the Saudi government and private investors, this futuristic mega city will cover roughly 25,900 square kilometers from Egypt to Lebanon. At an estimated cost of about $500 billion, the development plans and details remain in the air in respect to how “smart” it will actually be.
Belmont, Arizona- Bill Gates’ city of the future.
In 2017, the Bill Gates investment firm announced that they bought 24,000 acres of land in southwestern Arizona. According to Belmont Partners, the new development will include high-speed public Wi-Fi, self-driving cars and high-tech manufacturing facilities. Many of the details have yet to be reviled and not much has been said since the initial 2017 announcement.
Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside in Toronto
Probably the most talked about smart city project recently in the news is the Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto. Planned to be build on the waterfront of Lake Ontario after winning the contract, the new development will keep mobility, housing and real estate, sustainability, the public realm, community and on “open digital infrastructure to inspire innovation” at its core.
According to McKinsey and Company, there are 15 smart mobility technologies that will have an impact through 2025. With these technologies, they predict that commuters can shave off up to 15-30 minutes of their commute times.
These relevant smart applications will reduce congestion and make traveling more efficient and enjoyable and enable riders to take control of their journey and the multitude of increasing quantity of choices. The technologies identified in the McKinsey and Company report, Smart Cities: Digital Solutions For A More Livable Future are:
- Real-time public transit information: With real-time public transit information riders can better plan their routes and when to leave their homes or offices which has the potential to greatly reduce wait times.
- Digital public transit payment: By integrating online ticket purchasing for all types of transport in one place, multi-modal public transport is hassle-free and seamless.
- Autonomous vehicles: Although not an immediate remedy for congestion, it has the potential to reduce car ownership and efficiency in traffic.
- Predictive maintenance of transportation infrastructure: A shift from reactive to proactive repairs will help prevent breakdowns and inefficiencies.
- Intelligent traffic signals: By coordinating traffic signals to be responsive to real needs, cities can optimize street level mobility for all travelers and cut down on traffic induced Co2 emissions.
- Congestion pricing: A successful example is Stockholm, Sweden, with its electronic road pricing scheme and also in London. New York City has become the first American city to approve congestion pricing.
- Demand-based micro transit: With micro transit options available, riders can travel to and from what would be less frequented areas of a city or suburban areas. This concept can be especially useful for special needs riders.
- Smart parking: These apps help to minimize the time that drivers dedicate to looking for parking spots which has to potential to greatly reduce car circulation time and parking induced congestion.
- E-hailing (private and pooled): Companies like Uber, Cabify and Lyft can help reduce car ownership and also relieve the stress associated with it such as parking and insurance payments.
- Car sharing: Car ownership amongst younger generations is decreasing. Car sharing reduces the financial burden of owning a car and also cuts back on the number of vehicles that spend most of the time parked on the street than in use.
- Bike sharing: Cheap and convenient bike sharing systems help to keep cars off the road and don’t pollute. Scooter sharing has also seen a sharp increase in deployment, which falls into the micro-mobility category.
- Integrated multimodal information: By knowing all your options, from Uber, electric scooters, the metro and everything in-between, you can optimize your routes and choose the options that best fits your needs and preferences.
- Real-time road navigation: With real-time navigation drivers will be directed to the least congested route in real-time, making it responsive to road accidents, road conditions, roadwork etc.
- Parcel load pooling: By coordinating available trucks with shipment needs, companies can ensure that delivery trucks or shipments are made at full capacity. Reducing wasted space and, in turn, pollution.
- Smart parcel lockers: Last mile delivery causes congestion and often results in double parking. Smart parcel lockers enable delivery drivers to deliver packages to one convenient place for all the recipients instead of door to door.
It’s important to keep in mind that in a sector such as smart mobility and smart cities, technology moves fast, but only as fast as the riders and citizens accept it. With each year we will see additions and modifications to existing technology within the mobility sphere which have the potential enable more efficient and fluid mobility.
Read the full report: Smart Cities: Digital Solutions For A More Livable Future
As some experts agree, we are at the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, a revolution that is meant to rapidly catapult our way of life into an unrecognizable transformation. For some, it seems daunting, and for others, it’s a source of efficiency and innovation.
The consequences and severity of driving under the influence have not gone unknown. Since 1964 when the first drunk driving campaign aired, we as a society have been constantly reminded of the impacts that drinking and driving have. But what if someone told you that drowsy driving, or driving without adequate sleep, can have the same consequences as driving under the influence of alcohol?
Biometric recognition systems can be applied to a wide variety of products and services requiring safety, access control, presence control and identification or verification of users.
Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) were included in the Euro NCAP roadmap up to 2025, “In pursuit of vision zero”, published in September 2017. This document can be downloaded by clicking here.
As we commented in the previous post, one of the most common features of an ADAS system is the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Xesol Innovation has its own development for this feature, as can be seen in the following video:
As you can imagine, an autonomous car will need this feature.
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