From Smart to Intelligent Mobility, Part 5

hovenringeindhoven.jpgIn 2011, Eindhoven was selected by ICF as the Intelligent Community of the Year. It is globally renowned for its smart mobility efforts. It includes a diverse set of mobility options for its citizens including a unique raised “hovering” bicycle roundabout and street lighting and traffic signals dedicated to bicycles throughout the city and region. The city centre also includes a significant pedestrian area. Eindhoven’s Automotive Technology Centre involves over 125 organizations in collaborative projects ranging from start-up of new high-tech mobility systems to ICT companies, stimulated by being involved with the region’s incubators. The Centre for Automotive Research in the Auto Campus has had a driverless bus, called Phileas, navigate parts of Eindhoven since the late 1990s. As a smart mobility bus rapid transit system, it is intended to deliver tram-like public transport at a very low cost because of low maintenance, lack of rails, no overhead lines and the ability to recharge the battery by means of electromagnetic induction. It has had commercial success in places like Korea, Turkey and Israel. More recently, WePods are being experimented within neighbouring towns on public roads.

driverlessbuseindhoven.jpgAt the educational level, Eindhoven’s University of Technology (TU/e) has over 700 people involved in various smart mobility research and studies, especially in the fields of Intelligent Transport Systems, automotive technology, logistics and planning systems, and ICT-embedded systems, making smart mobility one of the university’s three strategic areas of focus. TU/e is also focused on knowledge and innovative technologies with more than 200 researchers contributing to sustainable mobility efforts, such as making mobility and transport more intelligent and productive and making vehicles safer, cleaner, and more efficient. Eindhoven is also a testbed for pilot projects, with a dedicated roadway for testing driverless vehicles of all types in the region. Some of the first smarter traffic pilots, conducted in Eindhoven included IBM intelligent transportation system's trials demonstrating connected car data that can be shared and analysed to resolve road network issues. A video on this can be viewed via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeJKQt9hL98. However, data alone is not their only forte. An event called “Beyond Data” showcases the remarkable advancements achieved in data-related ITS in Eindhoven, demonstrating how this region is successfully moving ITS projects from concept to commercial deployments. Given the holistic aspects of Eindhoven’s pursuit of smart mobility, it is easy to see how Eindhoven is an excellent model to demonstrate a community moving from Smart to Intelligent Mobility.

Singapore was the Intelligent Community Forum’s first Intelligent Community of the Year as far back as 1999. At that time, Singapore was one of the first cities to restrict traffic in their urban cores, known today as Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). According to Siemens, “the strength of the ITS is its holistic approach towards traffic management, which draws on transport tools Singapore has been using and continually updating for the past 20 to 30 years. For example, Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system was introduced in 1998, and replaced the first road-pricing scheme in Singapore, the Area Licensing Scheme, which was introduced in 1975.” Singapore already has had a long history and tradition with technology enabled smart mobility, especially with ITS technologies. Over the years Singapore developed other ITS technologies, platforms and applications into their mobility systems, including monitoring for road and tunnel safety, parking guidance systems, and ITS for maximising their road network capacity and traffic flow over 164 km of expressways and road tunnel systems. It seems that Singapore is always in transition, benefiting from the ever-changing technologies that are available. The ERP gantries, for instance, will likely be removed, opening the streetscape once again to traditional street views by employing GPS applications to monitor traffic movements in the core area. It will also have an added financial benefit for the city- it will be able to calculate the charge for traveling distances on congested roads rather than simply charging for usage of the congested road.

savi.jpgSingapore has more recently developed a plan called Smart Mobility 2030, consolidating the perspectives from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and local industry. The Plan aims to outline broad strategies implementing its ITS initiatives and to give local citizens opportunities to become involved throughout the process. Furthermore, the Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI) is the technical platform for industry partners and stakeholders to undertake research and development of Autonomous Vehicle technology, applications and solutions. The results of the ITS focus in Singapore creates an innovation ecosystem where new ITS solutions and related enabling technologies are able to be developed and exported worldwide. These solutions cover traffic flow, security and road safety, but they can also be used for weather and environmental emergencies, as well as for monitoring air quality. Singapore’s year-round Operations Control Centre monitors traffic with extensive intelligent transport systems and deploys ground staff to assist motorists in distress. It is also able to disseminate in real-time, invaluable traffic advisories through electronic message signs and via smart phone technologies. This facility is supported by an evolving nationwide ultra-high speed broadband access of 1Gbps.

Smart Mobility focuses on technology-enabled efficiencies and productivity. By extending the concepts of mobility to include a more holistic approach that leverages and captures the art of mobility for economic, social, cultural and other beneficial societal gains, it may be possible for some communities to evolve their smart mobility ecosystem into one that engenders the ideals of Intelligent Mobility. At the University of Singapore, the study and research related to ITS benefits the region with technical applications, but it also benefits the community through the expertise that it generates from its students and researchers. The University focuses on integrated applications of advanced technologies in areas dealing with safety, enhanced mobility, minimization of environmental impacts, efficiencies & productivity of transportation systems Singapore’s ITS infrastructure. Being located in Singapore, it is uniquely positioned for research and study related to its famous ERP System but it also includes other initiatives, such as a unique iTransport system that integrates ITS for managing large-scale expressway and arterial traffic. Consequently, in recognition of the importance of ITS in-traffic management in the city, an Intelligent Transportation & Vehicle Systems (ITVS) Lab was established by the University’s Department of Civil Engineering which aims to support both the University’s research and training capabilities and to put its research capabilities on the world map. These ITS initiatives also won Singapore the 2013 C40 and Siemens Climate Leadership Awards’ Intelligent City Infrastructure category, reinforcing that Singapore enjoys one of the lowest congestion rates in the world, especially for its size. IDA, the Universities, private sector partners and other technical institutes and organizations in Singapore, provide another clear example that its smart mobility efforts are more holistic in nature and embrace strategies relevant to Intelligent Mobility. These tech enabled attributes also help to make Singapore one of the most liveable cities in the world.

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Co-Founder/Chair ICF; ICF Canada, formerly CTT/ GTMA/CEDA/Board CUI, Urban Planner & Designer, Author & Speaker on Econ Devel/ Smart & Intelligent Cities
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