How autotech will shape our future smart cities

As our cities become smart cities, creating the efficient, interconnected, data-driven hubs that we hope will deliver the improved quality of life we’re all looking for, many different industries are going to be disrupted by technology innovation.

From the homes we live in, to the way we power our society, everything is going to change. And it’s likely that one of the most immediate and far-reaching changes will be in the automotive and transport sectors which we all rely on every day. After all, efficient transport management has to be the core of every successful smart city concept.

Bicycles in London

Smart cities will change the way we travel

One of the most complained about aspects of conventional cities is the ‘broken’ transport system. Gridlocked roads, parking difficulties, overcrowded and expensive public transport. If you are a city dweller, you see and experience it every day.

Smart cities aim to improve this situation dramatically. For example, as a smart initiative in 2017, San Diego installed 3,200 smart sensors to improve traffic congestion and parking. Barcelona installed smart bus stops providing Wi-Fi, USB power points and updated bus schedules, and these are just the beginning.

In future smart cities, inhabitants will demand flexible modes of transport which are easy to use and pay for. There are examples of this already, such as bike-sharing schemes in around 1000 cities across the world. Some cities have experimented with tech-driven flexible bus services which let the passenger choose the route, although these have not been viable in the long-term as yet. As for paying, passengers need quick, frictionless payment options, where multiple transport options are available on a single ticket, such as London’s Oyster card which uses RFID technology. Expect more cities to implement radical new ideas for flexible transport as the potential of technology progresses.

Bus stops getting “smarter”

AutoTech Advancements Will Create a Safer Autonomous Experience

The inhabitants of future smart cities will demand safer travel. And in fact, connected car technology is helping create safer travel possible now with,

  • V2V (vehicle to vehicle) — V2V is technology enabling connected cars to talk to each other over wireless networks. It is designed to reduce collisions by analysing other cars’ positions 10 times per second, and warning the driver if action needs to be taken.
  • V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) — V2I enables connected cars to talk to static objects, such as traffic lights, signs and cameras via wireless networks. It enables a quicker response to accidents, variable speed limits and other safety enhancements.
  • V2X (vehicle to everything) — V2X incorporates V2I and V2V, but adds other connected devices, such as smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The drive to the fully connected car is gaining traction at corporate level, as well as government level. In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing a rule to compel all new cars to be equipped with V2V chips by 2023, in a drive for better roadside safety. In Singapore, public buses are being fitted with ADAS collision avoidance chips that help avoid collisions.

The end result of these technological advancements will be autonomous driving (or driverless cars). Dubai is one of the smart cities aiming for 25% of transportation trips to be smart and autonomous by 2030. When implemented, the strategy will reduce transportation costs by 44 per cent or Dh900 million ($245M), saving Dh1.5 billion ($408M) through reduction of environmental pollution, and Dh18 billion ($4B) through raising efficiency of the transport sector by 20 per cent.

In California, authorities have granted permission to test driverless cars on public highways, opening the door to Silicon Valley autonomous transport pioneers. The same has happened in Israel, who see themselves at the forefront of connected car technology.

Dubai, UAE

Change comes with challenges

Change isn’t easy. As the autotech industry tries to adapt to the demands of the smart city, there will be obstacles to overcome.

  • Security — Cybercrime will still exist in smart cities, and the connected car could be another target for criminals. In 2015 Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars after a couple of hackers demonstrated to the magazine WIRED that they could control a Jeep’s system remotely over the internet. Cybersecurity needs to improve in the coming years, and drivers need to be educated on what they can do to stay safe.
  • Network issues — No network guarantees 100% uptime. Things go wrong. It’s estimated that the connected car will create 25GB of data per hour. This will cause an unsustainable strain on networks, unless they can be upgraded in time. If centralised networks fail, what will happen? Can networks be decentralised?
  • ROI — Will customers derive value from connected cars in smart cities? Will they see sharing their data as a worthwhile trade-off for the benefits they receive? While consumers will value improvements in safety, as always, the main factor will be the effect on their finances. If customers find that they’re saving money because they’re using less fuel, and they spend less unproductive time in traffic, it will be judged a success.
A random winter city view :-)

At Bright Box, we are on a mission to improve our technology to provide a better quality of life for the smart city-dweller. Smart cities collect data on their citizens as they travel around the city. From the places they visit regularly, to the way they drive and more, the smart city and its network knows all. To find out more about Remoto and how we’re helping shape the smart cities of the future. Visit our website.