What is the solution for urban traffic jams

Solution approaches for the city of the future

Those who commute to work every day are familiar with traffic jams or full trains and buses. Cyclists and pedestrians complain about the bad air they have to breathe as road users. Cities around the world are grappling with the growing congestion that comes with commuting longer, increasing environmental damage and reducing the life expectancy of all citizens.

The sobering truth: Without radical intervention and a change of course in urban traffic management, the problem will only worsen. The United Nations reports that 55 percent of the world's population currently lives in cities and is forecasting an increase to 68 percent by 2050. The average speed of door-to-door commutes is decreasing year by year, while the average travel time is increasing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traffic is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Transport is therefore responsible for the largest share of climate change. The combination of increasing traffic congestion, lack of parking spaces, longer commuting times and the resulting environmental impact has become one of the biggest problems facing today's cities. There are viable solutions to counter the growing problems in urban traffic. Smart City Concepts for Smart Cities address the issues and aim to improve the lives of city dwellers around the world.

The Opportunity: Data Flow Favors Smart City

The collection, analysis and application of data are important pieces of the puzzle. The Opportunity Project serves as an excellent example of the practicality of this concept. The open data initiative launched by the US government aims to improve global economic opportunities by implementing a system with transparent access to public information. The development of the infrastructure of smart cities and the many related technologies is directly related to optimizing the flow of information between civil servants and citizens. This concept is at the heart of The Opportunity project.

Communicative vehicles

Efficient transport is becoming more and more difficult with the ongoing global population growth. Self-driving vehicles, which many experts expect to find widespread use in the next few years, are key to solving the dilemma. This intelligence will go far beyond cars: Driverless delivery vans and autonomous delivery drones will help reduce traffic jams.

The use of modern technologies on the streets of the Smart City promotes efficiency. In addition, robotic vehicles promise a significant reduction in the dangers associated with driving, since collisions usually occur due to human error or distractions. V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) and V2X (Vehicle-to-X) emerge as promising components from technological progress.
Scooter and bicycle fleets can make use of their potential for increasing energy efficiency in smart cities by converting their vehicles into V2X vehicles. This enables them to collect and share traffic data, weather conditions, air pollution and other important information in real time.

Smart City: Hear the signals

But V2X can do a lot more and goes far beyond the vehicles themselves. For example, adaptive signal control solutions are establishing themselves in many cities. The application of real-time data determines the most efficient traffic light changes and optimally adapts the flow of traffic in smart cities.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation adaptive signal control solutions alone can reduce urban travel times by more than 10 percent and in areas with particularly outdated signaling systems by up to 50 percent. In practice, for example, they are very popular in the US cities of Los Angeles, San Antonio and Pittsburgh. European cities are also using advanced smart city technologies. For example, Barcelona developed an innovative system for managing traffic light routes in the event of a fire or accident. Traffic lights along the route of emergency vehicles automatically switch to green and reactivate normal mode after passing.

Transport solutions give hope

In view of the various technologies that control urban traffic in smart cities, the problems mentioned at the beginning appear solvable. For the future, Mobility as a Service (MaaS for short) will be the main focus in city traffic. From autonomous and connected vehicles to replacing gasoline with electricity and improved transparency across the industry. MaaS aims to increase efficiency and reduce environmental damage.

Futurologists anticipate a rapid decline in the number of privately owned cars in the coming years. Car sharing services, ridesharing and other innovative options for city dwellers will then take the place of their own car. Self-driving buses are already being tested on public roads in a number of countries such as Sweden, China and the USA. In the not too distant future, massive rollouts are due around the world. Even with autonomous vehicles, whether private or public, the move away from diesel and gasoline is gaining ground in favor of electromobility. Compared to the emissions from conventional cars and buses, this has a significant impact on the environment.

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The smart city and its intelligent urban infrastructure ensure a comprehensive shift in traffic. It includes full start-to-destination transportation to solve the First Mile / Last Mile (FMLM) problem and many other challenges facing today's city dwellers.

How about flying cars?