Making predictions is always a risky proposition, but three developments happening right now indicate that the transportation in the cities of the future will be cleaner, safer, smarter and more connected than ever before.
1. The shift to electric vehicles
While EV adoption has been low overall, it is picking up speed thanks to advancements in battery technology, which is increasing range on par to internal-combustion-engine-powered vehicles. The use of telematics to monitor charge levels, direct drivers to charging stations, and monitor power-wasting behavior, such as aggressive driving or poor routing, is another factor aiding EV adoption and efficiency, and contributing to a positive total cost of ownership equation for these vehicles.
2. Taking Aim at Vision Zero + telematics
Launched in 1997 by the Swedish Government, the Vision Zero initiative is a worldwide movement designed to eliminate traffic injuries or fatalities. To achieve these goals, cities are using data-driven approaches — including telematics — to design effective and safe traffic systems to minimize the possibility of human error, which is responsible for 94% of vehicle crashes, when driving.
3. Implementing Smart Infrastructure gets smarter
The transition to autonomous and connected vehicles is on the horizon, but so are smarter, connected cities. Improvements in sensors, video technology, and other connected and remote monitoring capabilities will turn cities into fully connected infrastructures that will work in concert with tomorrow’s smart vehicles to improve traffic controls, keep pedestrians safe, and vehicles moving, plus helping to reduce or eliminate gridlock and traffic fatalities and the frequency of collisions.
Looking towards smarter, safer cities
State and city governments across North America are taking the initiative by using telematics to make their cities smarter and safer. The result: increased efficiency and significant cost savings. By combining connected vehicle data with third-party sources and applying machine learning and analytics, data can be transformed into actionable insights.
The following projects are just some of the examples of how governments are looking ahead and creating connected infrastructures that will benefit government operations, commercial entities, and citizens alike.
1. Smart Intersections: Las Vegas
Las Vegas is leveraging smart intersection insights to optimize their entire transportation network. This initiative will produce valuable solutions to real-time problems, motivate investment in changes and result in a more efficient and safe transportation network in Las Vegas.
2. Vision Zero: New York City
At the core, telematics can monitor speeds, location, traffic congestion, road conditions, driving behaviors, accidents, vehicle maintenance, environmental conditions and more – and report it all in real time. Seeing these types of variables and the accompanying data arms officials to better understand issues through advanced analytics, at the central command center in NYC called the Fleet Office of Real-Time Tracking (FORT).
3. Smart Sanitation: Spokane
Cities like Spokane are utilizing technology to help improve waste and recycling operations. Spokane is now saving up to $25,000 per year in printing costs, as well as an estimated thousands of hours of cumulative staff time through improved processes. Route optimization and integration with the city’s new billing system are estimated to save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the contract.
4. Hyper-local Air Quality Monitoring: Houston
The city of Houston, Texas, is using telematics to employ regular fleet vehicles fitted with mobile air pollution sensors while driving regular routes, to map hyper-local air quality data. Houston saw 50 to 70 percent road coverage in six months utilizing only 10-20 fleet vehicles. The project was able to isolate potential air pollution “hot spots” that would justify closer attention from city hall.
Geotab’s smart city insights are meant to educate specific city and citizen stakeholders with data-driven and actionable information that can be used to justify changes, support strategic municipal investments in smart city technologies and even predict future behaviors or activities.