Optimising equipment management and promoting eco-responsible modes of transport while revolutionising the user experience. The equation seems almost impossible to solve for cities. But what if new technologies could help them?
Between heterogeneous data and Pure Players on the lookout
Mobility 3.0, smart transport, mobility as a service... whatever we choose to call it, Smart Mobility represents a major challenge for “global cities”. As, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60% of the population will be living in urban areas by 2030, citizens now expect realtime information, eco-responsible modes of transport, smartphone payments, etc. In short, a modern, environmentally friendly and seamless door-to-door experience. At the same time, mobility stakeholders intend to optimise their management of transport equipment and infrastructures in order to reduce costs and comply with carbon emission constraints.
Now, to engage in such an initiative, transport operators and cities alike can take advantage of new opportunities. The first is related to “big data”: how to aggregate and standardise data from heterogeneous sources (ticketing systems, equipment sensors, badge readers, etc.)? The second challenge relates to IoT: how to interconnect equipment (vehicles, ticket machines, metro trains, bus stops...) with heterogeneous protocols? At the same time, passenger information must be provided in a contextual manner. A tourist and a business traveller will not have the same expectations. Without forgetting that smart mobility is now at the centre of urban policies in order to improve air quality, enhance the attractiveness of certain districts, develop new residential areas, etc.
So many challenges that Pure Players and the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) have fully understood. Google is already trying to influence urban policies through its Sidewalk Labs subsidiary and is working with the French “unicorn” Blablacar to offer carpooling journeys directly on Google Maps. Apple, for its part, displays real-time city transport schedules in several cities in Ireland, while Waze hopes to provide real-time traffic alerts through a partnership with the specialist HAAS Alert. The risk for cities is clear: letting third party actors guide users by directly influencing urban policies.
TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE
Taking the route of transport users
Faced with these considerable challenges, how can we implement a rational Smart Mobility approach in cities? Everything starts with the traveller experience. The ideal solution is thus to define customer journeys, door-to-door trips that can be personalised at each stage. For each of these stages, it remains to list the information and services that must be provided to the user, then the data to be collected and standardised. In this way, the mobility stakeholders concentrate their efforts only on data that is of interest to the user.
In terms of equipment, the predictive technologies developed in a few use cases make it possible to envisage real benefits to improve traffic flow and reduce costs. For example, some predict movement patterns and peaks of traffic at J-2 based on Google searches. Others try to anticipate traffic conditions in order to optimise transport planning.
Working hand in hand with the user?
“All Smart Mobility projects are first and foremost about the user. Therefore, it is essential to include them from the very first workshops and then define, with them, their uses of mobility, their preferences and the services they need.”
Lionel Bry, Smart City Director, Gfi Informatique
Intelligent Urban Exchange (IUX)
The IUX big data platform of our partner TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global solution dedicated to smart cities. Mobility, energy, water, waste, e-government, local shops... the platform allows cities or operators to have access to intuitive dashboards to make better decisions and develop modern solutions (mobile applications, open data, new online services, etc.). Gfi Informatique can integrate this into your I.S., according to your needs, or offer full SaaS mode.