Developing smart mobility for smart cities
Posted: 2 July 2020 | Konstantin Trofimenko - National Research University Higher School of Economics | No comments yet
Konstantin Trofimenko from the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies, part of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, offers a vision of cities in which all urban transport processes are connected, transparent and digital, and also details the hurdles that have so far prevented such a vision from being achieved.
For more than 10 years, the topic of smart cities has been one of the most discussed among transport expert communities. Even if today the concept is largely speculative, with many corporations only using ‘smart cities’ as a slogan to sell standard automation services for various segments of the urban economy, we must be confident in the future, where the increased introduction of technology to cities will change peoples’ way of life and everyday habits.
Getting to the bottom of the smart city concept
Let’s think about how people’s mobility will change in a smart city.
Perhaps the simplest definition of a smart city from a functional point of view is a city that utilises:
- Sensors that capture all dynamic urban processes
- Communication channels that transmit this data online
- Algorithms to process big data
- Algorithms for automated management decision making based on the analysis of incoming data
- Automatic control effects on dynamic urban processes (Figure 1) if something goes wrong or there is a need to optimise processes. This is a universal principle that works for all areas of urban life, including transport and mobility.
At the same time, innovative and digital technologies will ensure the implementation of many of the following urban transport trends in the next 10-15 years:
- Increasing environmental friendliness
- Better security
- More reliabile
- Increased manageability of transport systems
- Faster transport flow
- Improved road capacity
- Better energy efficiency
- More economically efficient (lower costs)
- Better ride comfort (in all transport segments).
Not everything will always be designed with the intention of maximising these indicators, but broadly, these are objective trends that are relevant for every city in the world when it comes to mobility. So far, this has been the general logic as dictated by scientific and technological progress, but what happens if it becomes a more manageable process?