There are no drivers in smart city
There are many factors that influence how a city runs and many professions that operate in the urban environment. However, there is one challenge that all cities have to face, which is that of improving urban transport (and the conditions under which it is made), because it has a direct impact on the quality of life of the citizens. There are several reasons for this: not only does it consume energy and generate most of the greenhouse gases emitted by the city, it also forces commuters to dedicate a large part of their time to simply getting around, hindering their productivity and wasting time which could be spent on leisure and rest.
In fact, in 2011 IBM published the study “Global Commuter Pain Survey” which calculated the time people lost when commuting in their cities, while the Texas Transportation Institute worked out that in 2000, drivers in the 75 largest urban areas of the U.S.A suffered 3,600 million hours of delays, which represented a waste of 21,600 million litres of petrol and a loss of productivity of 67,500 million dollars, the equivalent of 0.7% of the GNP of that year.
What can smart cities offer to counter this situation? A new multi-modal (combining different types of transport) paradigm for mobility in which public transport, electric vehicles and trains are the main features.
It is in this context that one idea which seemed until recently to be pure science fiction has emerged with force: self-driving vehicles. Despite the fact that the most famous of these –the Google Car– has been road tested over thousands of kilometres, the first to circulate on the streets of California and Singapore is one aimed at public transport. It is the electric minibus EZ10 by the company Easymile.
This vehicle will be on display and available for testing in the next Smart City Expo World Congress together with many more innovations in the field of urban mobility, like electric bicycles designed for transport and deliveries, which can double the amount of goods delivered by couriers in cities, and systems for managing parking spaces which can cut down the time needed to find a place to park.
Smart Mobility, the star of BcnRail
BcnRail, the international railway industry show at Fira de Barcelona, is holding its fifth edition in Pavilion 2 of the Gran Via site, and has chosen Smart Mobility as its leit motiv and the main focus of the event. Access to new international markets through the presentation of high technology projects, and the logistics of goods handling are two of the other areas that will be tackled in the BcnRail Congress, the exhibition’s forum for knowledge transfer and debate which brings together over fifty domestic and international experts in this area.