Transportation

Sun, 2015-10-25 20:52 -- Jon DeKeles
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In this chapter we refer to transportation as any and every system that moves people around a city. Think of a city’s streets, vehicles, railways, subways, buses, bicycles, streetcars, ferries and so on. All play an essential role in the hustle and bustle of today’s cities – in commuting to work, running errands, attending classes, enjoying a night out, shipping and receiving products, delivering pizzas. We rely on the vast web of transportation networks in our cities. We trust that they will get us where we need to be in an efficient, safe manner for a reasonable price. 

But that’s not always the case. Transportation networks in cities around the world struggle with serious problems, like congestion.  In 2013, traffic congestion robbed the U.S. economy of $124 billion, according to an Inrix study. Without significant action to alleviate congestion, this cost is expected to increase 50% to $186 billion by 2030. Another study predicts that emissions from vehicles idling in traffic jams will result in 1,600 premature deaths and $13 billion in “total social costs” in the U.S. by 2020. 

Of course it’s not a problem the U.S. faces alone. A 2014 Congestion Index comparing congestion levels in 2014 versus 2013 in over 200 cities ranked the top 10 most congested cities as:

1. Istanbul
2. Mexico City
3. Rio de Janeiro
4. Moscow
5. Salvadore
6. Recife
7. St. Petersburg
8. Bucharest
9. Warsaw
10. Los Angeles

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways cities can fix traffic congestion by deploying ICT, as you’ll read about in the pages that follow. 

The promise of smart transportation and the reality of city congestion mean that this market subsector is growing rapidly. According to Navigant Research, the global smart urban mobility infrastructure and services market is expected to grow from $5.1 billion in 2015 to $25.1 billion in 2024.

As you explore this chapter you’ll discover there are four targets that cities need to achieve to put smart transportation into high gear. We’ll also briefly discuss how the universal targets apply to transportation. But first, a quick look at transportation dependencies and then we’ll highlight the incredible benefits in livability, workability and sustainability that smart transportation networks provide.

Dependencies in transportation
Improving transportation infrastructure and services are a high priority for many cities. As they plan improvements they will want to be cognizant of the interdependencies between   transportation systems and energy and communications systems as well as the built environment.  The connection between transportation and the built environment is straightforward – roads, rails and ports are typically  essential components of a smart transportation system – but can also represent massive construction investments.
 
Beyond cost considerations, the various modes of transport all require power and communications to function properly within a smart transportation environment – especially true as cities move to electrified light rail or buses and set up recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles. 
 
Benefits of smart transportation 
In the highlights that follow you’ll get a better understanding how smart transportation improves a city’s  livability, workability and sustainability:
 
Livability
 
Reducing traffic and congestion. Advanced analytics and instrumentation can provide cities with the information they need to minimize congestion. Traffic lights can be synchronized and adjusted for optimal traffic flow. In-vehicle collision-avoidance systems can take action to prevent congestion-causing accidents. Incident detention and notification systems can analyze information from cameras and vehicles to detect traffic problems, alert drivers and suggest alternative routes. Parking can be made more efficient through instrumentation and mobile apps. 
 

Reducing trip time. With the help of analytics and ICT, traveler information systems and real-time route planning can plot multi-modal routes for travelers. Smart city transportation networks direct people when and where to switch from a bus to the subway, for example, to arrive at destinations at the lowest cost or fastest time. And traffic and weather alerts can be delivered via smartphone applications to alleviate commute times.

 
Empowering people with choice and control. Smart transportation gives people the power to make better transportation decisions. In smart cities, multi-modal fare cards are used to pay for all forms of city transportation or parking. And data gathering instrumentation and open data policies empower them with their own transportation information. People create ridesharing apps to optimally pair passengers and drivers, neighborhood-specific parking and traffic maps, apps that publish
wait times for parking lots and so on. 
 
Improving public safety. Smart transportation has a strong link to public safety. First responders require mobility to perform their lifesaving work, and ICT can make their jobs easier by optimizing traffic lights when necessary and empowering them to see potential traffic snarls in real time so they can select the most efficient travel routes.
Workability
Increasing cities’ competitive advantage. The quality of cities’ transportation infrastructure is a major factor in business and industry investment decisions. Business and industry often depend on reliable employee travel and/or transport of goods. Transportation networks that offer reliability are sought out. 
 
Becoming more attractive to talent. Professionals, like businesses, consider mobility when deciding where to locate. Cities with efficient transport will see their businesses thrive, thereby increasing the tax and employment base.
 
Sustainability

Reducing pollution from transportation. Pollution is a problem in both the developed and developing worlds, and transportation is a major contributor. Smart technologies and practices can significantly reduce transportation’s environmental impact. Traffic management creates a more efficient road network and reduces travel time, reducing vehicle emissions. And smart public transit is easier and more convenient, attracting more riders and reducing reliance on automobiles. Smart cities also encourage the use of electric vehicles by example, choosing them whenever possible for their own fleets and providing charging stations in public buildings. 

 
Improving transportation budgets. Cities spend billions on their public transportation systems, and yet they are often inefficient, with capacity not in line with demand. Smart technologies unleash the savings and efficiency potential of transportation investments. For example, information from embedded smart devices can be analyzed to determine subway system expansion needs with respect to highest transit priority, future demand needs – and then servicing that demand at the lowest cost. 
 
Additionally, analytics can make the most out of expensive transportation assets. Sensors and monitors can report on the actual condition of infrastructure so that operators can make better decisions, servicing equipment based on actual condition and not on a guess. This kind of asset management can squeeze many extra years of use from an investment, and all without compromising equipment or passenger safety.
Instrumentation and control
As we turn to the transportation targets, this first one highlights the many types of smart devices that help cities monitor and control traffic – roadway sensors, smart streetlights and GPS devices to name just a few. 
 
Implement optimal devices and other instrumentation for all transportation modes. Deploying the right devices in the right places — covering all modes of transport — provides the data smart cities use to analyze traffic in real time. In some cases, optimal instrumentation may mean a smart device for every vehicle, for instance, a GPS tracker for every bus. In other cases it may mean a smart device “every so often.” For example, a roadway sensor placed every so often as needed to provide a picture of traffic on city highways and byways. Gathering and analyzing data from all modes of transportation within a city enables multi-modal optimization.
 
Connectivity
The data collected from a city’s smart transportation network often impacts more than just transportation operators. A fire crew racing to an apartment blaze will want to know about a blocking accident so they can take an alternate route. Likewise, long waits at a city ferry terminal may be something the communications office needs to know in real time so they can alert the traveling public.
 
Connect devices with citywide, multi-service communications. It’s not enough to embed smart devices throughout a transportation network. The data the devices gather needs to be channeled through a citywide communications system so it can be analyzed and acted upon. 
 
Interoperability
Cities can rarely afford an out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new overhaul of their transportation systems, much as they might want to. The targets in this section highlight some of the ways cites can make sure they’re making decisions today that will bode well into the future.
 
Adhere to open standards. Insisting on open standards will increase choice and decrease costs, as products can be mixed and matched from different vendors. Cities may also want to work with standards organizations to ensure their particular needs are addressed.
 
Use open integration architectures and loosely coupled interfaces. Cities that adopt open integration architectures make it much easier and simpler to share data between applications.
 
Prioritize the use of legacy investments. As you well know, transportation systems can be a huge investment and most cities can ill-afford to scrap equipment that still has lifetime value. So as cities add intelligence to their transportation network, it makes sense to use existing equipment and systems whenever possible to avoid unnecessary spending and stranding assets.
 
Enable multi-channel access to an integrated customer transportation account. One goal of a smart transportation system is to encourage people to use it – so making it incredibly convenient will be a big factor. A couple ways smart cities can do that is to enable people to 1) pay for all city transportation services with a single account and 2) enable access to this account through multiple channels – integrated fare cards, cell phones, websites, on-vehicle transponders, etc.
 
A single account covering multiple modes of transportation and offering multiple channels of access lowers barriers to mass use. Increased usage boosts efficiency and revenue and decreases road congestion. Although it is unlikely a city can integrate all modes of transport at once, it’s a goal worth working toward. 
Security and privacy
The security and privacy concerns that apply to other city infrastructures are equally important in the realm of public transportation.
 
Publish privacy rules. As we mentioned in the last section, transit authorities are moving to single account payment systems, which will generate data that can track where an individual has been and when. Some transit systems also use video surveillance for security purposes. Those are just two reasons why publishing privacy rules will help cities get in front of a potential consumer backlash.
 
Create a security framework. One of the realities of life today is that a driver never knows who’s hopping on a bus or what’s in the backpack he’s carrying. And what about the package left behind on a subway seat? A security framework mitigates risk by taking a proactive approach and using ICT technologies to identify and address threats before they can cause damage. 
 
Implement cybersecurity. Smart transportation systems collect all manner of data that could make them vulnerable to cyber attack – from smart card payment information to ridership details. Having strong cybersecurity measures in place will help ward off trouble.
 
Data management
With smart sensors, smart payment systems, GPS and all the other intelligent devices that are gathering data as part of a smart transportation system, the city and its residents are all better off when there’s a plan for managing it.
 
Create and adhere to a citywide data management, transparency and sharing policy. Citywide data management plans make it easier to enforce the privacy and security best practices discussed in the last section. But they also can help improve data accuracy and lower costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication.
 
Computing resources
Transportation systems involve a lot of data, a lot of logistics, and a lot of detail that ICT can help cities get under control. The targets below illustrate some of the ways they can do that.
 
Consider a cloud computing framework. 
A cloud computing framework enables scalability of systems, reduces costs and improves reliability. 
 
 
Use an open innovation platform. A lot of cities are seeing amazing results with open innovation platforms that empower developers
to create apps that city residents can use. Smart parking apps, for instance, are very popular. Apps that people can use to synch up with bus and train schedules are too. 
 
Have access to a central GIS. City decision-making capabilities are greatly improved with a central GIS. A transit system, for instance, can see efficiency gains through more intelligent scheduling and routing.
 
Have access to comprehensive network and device management. To manage the large, scattered deployments of smart devices across the transportation infrastructure, smart cities rely on comprehensive device management programs that improve security and resiliency, deliver cost savings and enforce compliance with city data management, security and privacy policies. 
Analytics
No surprise that analytics can have a major impact in a transportation network. This section includes some new targets that reveal how.
 
Achieve full situational awareness. Using the smart devices deployed across various transportation modes, smart cities use analytics to provide their transportation managers with a complete operating picture. This increases the reliability and resiliency of the infrastructure, and allows for the quickest possible incident response time. Full situational awareness also enables dynamic, multi-modal disaster and recovery plans.
 

Achieve multi-modal operational optimization for transportation. When it comes to optimizing transportation operations, the goal is to make sure the optimization takes place across all modes, in or near real time depending on circumstances. Cities that optimize transport modes individually limit the returns on their technology investments, since a change or incident in one mode will likely impact another. An example is a problem that shuts down a subway line, sending a big influx of riders to the closest bus.

 
There are many ways that multi-modal optimization improves transit operations, including:
 
Improved mobility. Travel is as fast, efficient and safe as possible. Traffic lights are optimized to eliminate structural traffic problems. Or to find the best compromise to allow streetcars to pass with minimum delays for auto traffic. Likewise, data analysis might suggest a new bus route along a particularly crowded transit corridor. Or a smartphone app could alert drivers to the best route, sending them around congestion and accidents. Improved mobility is important to residents, of course, but is also critical for businesses that move people or goods around a city.
 
Cost savings. In addition to the cost benefits of reduced congestion, multi-modal transport optimization brings cost benefits to cities through more efficient energy usage and improved customer experience.  (As noted earlier, the better the experience the more willing people are to use public transportation.) In some scenarios system optimization can reduce costs through shared infrastructure – especially ICT resources – and by getting more out of existing infrastructure. It can also defer or delay the need for new roadways or additional buses by optimizing the use of what the city has in place already.
Flexibility. Multi-modal transport optimization can be a tool that smart cities use to accomplish specific transportation goals. If pollution is a major problem, then a city can effectively optimize its transport system to promote bus use over private car use, and subway use over bus use. Or if a city suffers from rush-hour bus congestion, it can optimize its transport system to increase subway use during that time.
 
Achieve asset optimization. The goal is to ensure a city can extract maximum value from its transportation infrastructure and instrumentation investments. This includes calculating precisely which transportation assets should be replaced or repaired and when, to achieve maximum return on investment.  
 
Pursue predictive analytics. The importance of using analytics to predict when elements of a transportation infrastructure are close to failure can’t be overstated. Consider the value of predictive maintenance, for example, in relation to the integrity of critical infrastructure such as bridges and highways. Not only can predictive maintenance save money, it can also save lives.
 
Enable dynamic, demand-based pricing. Smart cities have systems in place to use dynamic, demand-based pricing as a tool to influence customer behavior. As cities better understand people’s transportation behavior through instrumentation and analytics, they can influence that behavior by changing prices throughout the day to accomplish their transportation goals. 
 
For example, a city with crippling morning smog can analyze vehicle use at that time and tailor parking prices for vehicles based on distance traveled. Or a city with high road congestion can toll the road with variable pricing and/or alter its bus and subway pricing in targeted areas to reduce traffic. Cities have different transportation circumstances and priorities, and different political operating environments, so the use of dynamic pricing to influence behavior is likely to differ from city to city. 
ISO 37120: A yardstick for measuring city performance 
 
In 2014, the International Organization for Standards announced an ISO standard that applies strictly to city performance. The document -- known as ISO 37120:2014 -- establishes a set of open data indicators to measure the delivery of city services and quality of life. It defines common methodologies that cities can use to measure their performance in areas such as energy, environment, finance, emergency response, governance, health, recreation, safety, solid waste, telecommunications, transportation, urban planning, wastewater, water, sanitation and more.
 
In the table below we have indicated how the standard related to Transportation correspond to the Council’s Transportation targets identified on the next page. The ISO 37120 transportation indicator has cities reporting on the extent of their mass transit and non-car infrastructure, overall transportation safety and direct flight inter-connectedness. 
 
Transportation targets
In the checklist below, targets specifically pertaining to the transportation responsibility are in bold, universal targets are not.
Transportation Indicators

Implement optimal instrumentation for all modes

Citywide, multi-service communications

Multi-channel access to integrated accounts

Integrate all transport modes for optimization

Enable dynamic, demand-based pricing

Achieve full situational analysis

Achieve operational optimization

Pursue predictive analysis

 

TECHNOLOGY

Core

18.1 Kilometers of high capacity public transport system per 100,000 population

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18.2 Kilometers of light passenger public transport system per 100,000 population

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18.3 Annual number of public transport trips per capita

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18.4 Number of personal automobiles per capita

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Supporting

18.5 Percentage of commuters using a travel mode to work other than a personal vehicle

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18.6 Number of two-wheel motorized vehicles per capita      

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18.7 Kilometers of bicycle paths and lanes per 100,000 population      

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18.8 Transportation fatalities per 100,000 population

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18.9 Commercial air connectivity (number of non-stop commercial air destinations)      

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Enabler Transportation Targets

How smart cities deploy and use ICT to enhance their transportation networks

Implementation Progress

NonePartialOver 50%Complete

Instrumentation & Control

Implement optimal instrumentation

Supplement: for all transportation modes

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Connectivity

Connect devices with citywide, multi-service communications

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Interoperability

Adhere to open standards

Use open integration architectures and loosely coupled interfaces

Prioritize use of legacy investments

Enable multi-channel access to an integrated customer transportation account

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Security & Privacy

Publish privacy rules

Create a security framework

Implement cybersecurity

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Data Management

Create a citywide data management, transparency and sharing policy

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Computing Resources

Consider a cloud computing framework

Use an open innovation platform

Have access to a central GIS

Have access to comprehensive device management

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Analytics

Achieve full situational awareness

Achieve operational optimization

Pursue predictive analytics

Supplement: integrate all transport modes for multi-modal transportation optimization

Achieve asset optimization

Enable dynamic, demand-based pricing

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 

Target: Achieve full situational awareness
Collaboration between the city of Dublin and Council member IBM is helping keep 1.2 million residents moving efficiently through Dublin’s extensive network of roads, tramways and bus lanes. Integrating data from a citywide network of sensors with geospatial data means the city’s road and traffic department is able to better monitor and manage traffic in real time. 
 
Target: Use an open innovation platform
Transport for London (TfL) decided to open its real-time data to partners and organizations so they could develop citizen-centric web applications to help relieve congestion and ease commuting for the traveling public. In just six weeks, TfL, Microsoft and the local developer community created an application programming interface that floats real-time data onto the cloud using Microsoft’s cloud services, saving TfL millions of pounds.
 
Target: Achieve operational optimization
Council member Cisco is helping rail and transit operators converge their aging and disparate networks into a single IP architecture. This video explains how Cisco Connected Train helps enhance the passenger experience, drive operational efficiency, lowers costs and opens up entirely new business models while delivering new services to passengers.
 
Implement optimal instrumentation for all transportation modes
The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle makes the future tangible with the revolutionary concept of autonomous driving. Watch this video from Council member Mercdes-Benz for a preview of how the self-driving car of the future could evolve into a platform for communication and interaction.
 
Reducing trip time
This video takes you behind the scenes of the new world-class Silver Line, phase one of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail near Washington, D.C. The new rail line was built by Dulles Transit Partners led by Council member Bechtel. It opened in July 2014, connecting to the region’s existing metro system.