Rapid rise in urbanization has really been the highlight of modern age living, alternatively known as smart living. Smart transportation, cities, buildings, and homes ensure that consumers are leading a lifestyle of comfort and convenience. By 2050, around 70% of the global population will be residing in cities says UNICEF. As the urban population continues to grow, the city transport continues to feel the heat in terms of vehicular congestion, poor highway designs, and disorganized public transport.
However, the dawn of Internet of things (IoT) has started to transform the way various industries work including modern-day transportation. IoT, along with big data and hefty capital investments are set to change the way the transport industry functions. Digitization is at the core of the major changes taking place in rail, road, and air transportation that distinguishes futuristic transport from conventional ways of commute. With investments worth billions of dollars and constant technological advancements, smart transportation is set to witness disruptive trends in the years to come.
Smart Problem Solving
Along with booming economic productivity, urbanization comes with its own set of problems. Hence, mismanaged transportation and issues related to public safety need careful consideration when it comes to revamping the conventional systems. Poor urban planning and lack of competent road designs often leads to accidents, added time and expense on commuting, and reduced productivity. All these factors indirectly impact economic growth of the country, which is the reason why governments want to put well-organized transportation systems in place.
Advanced Safety and efficiency, especially across developed countries, can be achieved through proper use of information and communication technology (ICT). With easy access to internet, fast paced digitization, and big data, it is easy for the companies to incorporate advanced smart transportation systems like intelligent transportation system (ITS). Ubiquitous connectivity is a boon to the transport industry that allows easy implementation of numerous disruptive trends such as remote sensors, smart traffic lights, self-driving or driverless vehicles, and multi-mode transportation among others.
Smart Transportation Trends
Demand for transportation continues to grow each passing year. Increasing urban population is likely to result in declining automobile ownership. This is in response to the rising government efforts to promote public transport and eco-friendly options like bicycles. Innovations in public transport and interest from various European countries will highlight public transportation trends even more. Influence of digitization is evident on consumer expectations and the way the companies decide to cater to them.
Along with hotel, travel, and airline industries, digitization has taken over public transportation in terms of integrated services. The primary aim here seems giving priority to consumer convenience and demand. Companies are making efforts to make transportation more consumer-centric wherein the users are spoilt for choices when it comes to convenience, innovation, payment, intelligent, and most importantly, safety.
Reduced Vehicle Dependency: Consumers, especially millennials are opting for smart transportation modes available at the price of public transport but that offer the comfort of personal vehicle. Zipcar, Uber, and other wireless mobility solutions give the much demanded choice, comfort, and control to the users.
Hyper-connectivity: Open data plays a vital role in smart transportation as it allows linking different transport modes and mobile applications. This enables access to nearby transport services and solutions. Citimapper and Google Maps are some of these programs that offer detailed information to the consumers.
Telematics and Sensors: Penetration of Internet of things plays a prominent role in reimagining transportation services. The prospect of using smartphones as mobility sensors allows better understanding of capacity and flow of transport and passengers in public realm.
Payments and Pricing: Physical transport infrastructure can restrict price war in rail and urban mobility. However, Internet booking has increased competition in smart transport industry on the basis of prices. Mobile technology and IoT paired with easy access to high-speed data services and digital payment empowers passengers.
What the Future Holds
Digitization in transportation industry is slowly transforming the way we utilize and interact with vehicles. The intelligence transportation systems are essential when it comes to designing smart cities. Connected vehicles, traffic lights, highways, and toll-booths are the future of the transport sector. Governments and companies like Accenture PLC, Alstom, SA, International Business Machine (IBM) Corporation, General Electric Company (GE), and Cisco System, Inc. among others are focused on creating circular economy. As a result, they are focus on mobility innovation that allows added user control and price sensibility. Integration is the buzzword for the players who intend to merge smart cities with the help of smart transportation.
Smart living has substantial long-term economic benefits. Along with reduced logistics and congestions and increased productivity and job opportunities, smart transportation is a smart investment for both developed and emerging economies that are struggling with almost similar problems when it comes to urban planning and traffic management.
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