Smart Mobility for Cities

Since the beginning of urbanization, mobility has been a key issue and an important motor for growth and progress. In the past, mobility might have stood for the freedom of the people to move around using new means of transportation in growing cities. But nowadays the linking of traffic and communication is becoming increasingly important as transportation infrastructures are pushed to their limits, demand for alternative means of transport and routes increases and pressure to optimize existing systems grows.

Intelligent traffic planning, expansion of public transport and the improved interconnectedness of all road users in a city-wide communication infrastructure comprise the mobility characteristics of a smart city. Fewer traffic jams in the inner city and the development of a predominantly zero-emission public transport system will ultimately have a positive impact on the environment and the quality of life in smart cities.

Nowadays, mobility is not just a matter of free movement within a city and the certainty that shipments will reach their destination. Mobility today also means that the smart city independently monitors the flow of traffic and reacts flexibly to problems. In addition, mobility can be more customized using the new communication infrastructure. For example, data for accessibility in the city and for the benefit of all is made available for everybody, shared and constantly updated. This creates a city-wide open mobility network through the permanent exchange between all parties involved for maximum efficiency.

Intelligent public transportation

The public transportation system is the lifeline of a smart city. It animates the city through a continuous and controlled flow of people and products and carries everybody to his or her destination. If it is expanded city-wide and its efficiency is improved, public transportation make a significant contribution to the reduction of traffic congestion and emissions.

Through smart traffic control private transport is also able to contribute to a more effective and secure transport network. There already are smartphone apps on the market that provide drivers with traffic information in real time. Other apps use the communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure. Alternatives are ad-hoc shared-ride services that contribute to more efficiency and safety on the road. The areas of traffic routing and driver assistance offer even more development opportunities for individual traffic in the areas of information and communication technologies.

Digitalization of everyday life

The addition, the internet increasingly contributes to mitigating traffic: The dissociation from the concept of the static office space and the increasing acceptance of telecommuting or internet-based cooperative work at different places makes many trips redundant. Commuting to the place of work or to meetings is often no longer necessary because employees and an increasing number of self-employed persons work from home or co-working spaces. The great success of online shopping has the same effect on the mobility in smart cities: Customers no longer shop at the physical stores, resulting in fewer deliveries of goods. Whether this compensates for the increasing number of individual deliveries has yet to be analyzed.