IoT Blog

Smart cities - shared cities

Smart cities – Shared cities

In 2007, 50% of the world’s population lived in cities and it is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. Increased birthrates and longevity result in higher demands for both public transport and other infrastructure in cities. Although our lives are increasingly digital, people will always have the need to move from A to B. This places demands on increased efficiency on the existing public transport and to reduce the load on an already strained infrastructure and local environment.

How can the future of public transport be made more efficient in order to facilitate travel without overloading the infrastructure?

Through technology, one can streamline what exists at present. There are sensors already built in to and on buses, cars and in the urban environment. The problem with the collected data is that it is only used to deliver the desired result within the supplier's own system. These closed systems inhibit development since municipalities and businesses have invested in systems that risk being dated. This would leave cities of the future with diminished opportunities to build on existing technology.

Open modular systems

With open APIs for both access and registration of anonymised data, we can create systems that can be integrated independent of manufacturers and system versions. Developers of hardware, software, systems and apps gain access to validated data and can focus on creating value for end-users and drive development.

If we develop open modular systems, we can focus on finding the technology that gives the most value to the people, as well as businesses, infrastructure and the environment. Through smart public transport and urban environments with modular solutions, we improve our communities for many stakeholders.

  • The individual

By making public transport more efficient, the individual is more inclined to travel collectively and take in the city's advantages. Reduced car traffic leads to lower emissions, fewer vehicles in traffic and a better local environment.

  • The business sector

There are many advantages within the business sector when cities grow and the transport connections/communications are streamlined; it is easier to find experienced staff and the level of innovation increases in line with the population. The service industries have a greater potential to succeed in cities, since the customer base is larger.

  • The infrastructure

The ability to relieve heavily trafficked places in the urban environment would eliminate the need to rebuild existing traffic junctions in order to adapt to increased traffic. With fewer vehicles, roads can be transformed into bicycle and walk ways and parts of the city center can be developed into completely car free places. Systems that work together and send out warnings of risk or accidents require fewer responses from healthcare and rescue personnel.

  • Environment and sustainability

More electric buses and improved traffic planning would refuce emissions as well as the number of starts and stops for vehicles in the urban environment. As more and more people move to the cities, the opportunities for sharing resources are increased which will lead to a reduced environmental impact.

Leading the way

Several cities and initiatives are working to open up and make information about the city available to developers. Transport for London (TfL) saw the value for individuals, transport connections and the city early and made data available. This has resulted in thousands of developers joining in and about 4 million people benefiting from apps and systems using the data.

Recommendations for open cities' information on transport are also being developed, one of which is Share-PSI 2.0. They strive to achieve "smarter, greener and integrated transport" that should be of benefit to both the individual, the economy and society.

Swedish Nobina, the largest bus transport group in the Nordic region, have together with Telia used anonymized data from the mobile network, so-called Crowd Analytics, in order to improve public transport by looking for patterns in how people move. Based on the project, it has then evaluated how the company and the city can change their public transport in order to meet the actual movement patterns of the people.

Barcelona Smart City is an example of how one can use sensors and data collection to create value for people in the smart cities of the future.

Barcelona has achieved a wide range of benefits through investment in IoT for urban systems. It is a model city in signifying how the IoT can be applied in innovative ways to solve major problems. The city’s commitment to creating a smarter urban infrastructure is transforming the quality of life for its residents and visitors.

Create value for people and the future

When using standardized and scalable solutions, we can streamline construction of future fleets of public transport by further developing existing technical solutions. The synergy effects when our systems can share information and start working together grow exponentially with new technologies, sensors and algorithms. So let's build really smart cities together, then we can create value for people, businesses, communities, traffic situations, the local environment and the future.