Smart cities are rising at a rapid rate. The UN estimates that in the year 2030, 10 million people will live in 43 megacities around the world, with most of them in developing countries. But urbanisation has its drawbacks. A study by King’s and Imperial College found that over 4,000 Londoners were hospitalised over three years due to the city’s poor air quality.
The growth of cities and the impact of air pollution means transport systems and methods need to change. The “sharing” or gig” economy has shown that for most people, access defeats ownership. A simple app can satisfy a consumer’s urgent needs in the digital economy of today.
For individuals that live in cities, mobility-as-a-service is a smart city innovation that could truly enhance quality of life. Mobility-as-a-service enables vehicle sharing services that charge travellers a standard rate for their journey. Automation will provide the foundation of MaaS. Individuals will travel via fleets of autonomous vehicles, thus eliminating the need for people to use or own their own cars to get around. Through their smartphones, people will be notified about nearby vehicles that are available to drive, then given an access code. All of this will be conducted with IoT technology and sensors.
MaaS services will reduce congestion in highly populated cities by encouraging individuals to adopt other forms of transportation. Mobility-as-a-service will reduce the number of privately-owned cars on the road, creating a more environmentally friendly way of travelling around cities.
Putting you on the map
Real-time maps are formed by fusing real-time analytics, GPS, and big data to inform a driver of changes in their environment that could affect their journeys, such as roadworks or traffic accidents. For example, searching for a parking space contributes to the road congestion in big cities. With IoT technology, this would be alleviated. The technology already exists. Emergency service teams now use real time-maps which have the ability to reroute vehicles when there are changes in traffic flow or hospital capacity.
A bright spark
In the last year, the transition to electric vehicles has shifted up a gear. In 2018, the British government launched the Road To Zero campaign in an effort to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Although more charging infrastructure is needed, progress is being made. Britain now has more electric charging points than petrol stations, according to a study by Nissan. The environmental campaign group Transport & Environment have predicted that the sale of EU electric cars will be four times higher than sales of last year, surpassing 1 million in sales. As autonomous electric vehicles become the norm for everyday use, MaaS will be at the vanguard of this revolution.
How IoT is disrupting the UK’s public sector
For many governments, the idea of making cities smarter has been high on the agenda for a long time. There is healthy competition between cities around the world to become the smartest, most sustainable and cleanest. In June 2018, Sadiq Khan announced his bid to turn London into the smartest city in the world, reinforcing the UK’s plans to become a world leader in IoT.
However, government and local authority budgets are tight, and the cost of developing solutions is high. Tech Data has created an IoT Solution Factory designed to leverage expertise within their organisation and partners. Through the IoT Solution Factory, local authorities and organisations can access proven, repeatable and scalable solutions that can be tailored to their requirements as they lay the foundations for the smart cities of tomorrow. The channel can also provide skills that local authorities either don’t have or that are too expensive. By working with managed service providers, those implementing smart city solutions can deliver the results they need within budget, benefitting the lives of their citizens and delivering value for taxpayers.