The IoT for more efficient transportation

Published by Telefónica IoT Team IoT General, Smart Mobility

The bigger a city, the more difficult it is to manage. Nowadays, our monumental cities are the home to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who move around at all hours. Ensuring that so many people are moved in a clean, energy-efficient, and effective way is a real challenge. To deal with major problems, the best bet is working with the most sophisticated solutions. That is just what the Internet of Things offers: the solutions we needed to create a throbbing, thriving, and better world.

Welcome to "Connected Transportation"

The evolution of the IoT in the world of transportation has always been more discreet or perhaps more private, depending on the view. Unlike other technological aspects related to day-to-day life, the benefits of the Internet of Things in transportation were not clear until recently. But as we go along, planes, cars, buses, and trains are beginning to benefit from new technology solutions. Now, the concept of "Connected Transportation" is a reality that affects all types of transportation. In the next few years, more than 290 exabytes of data are expected to be produced in the smart car sector alone, for example. Connected transportation offers great promises: from a substantial improvement in transportation efficiency to additional services that could create an appropriate technological environment to truly support the Smart City when implemented with other IoT solutions. But what promises and advantages do we mean?

IoT to create better driving

Autonomous cars are the great hope of individual transportation. We are about to see the first fully autonomous vehicles, which are smarter and more efficient than any driver, and the IoT is playing a fundamental role in this. What role exactly? First of all, using the Internet of Things in an autonomous vehicle allows the driving –  speed, routes, forecasts – to be completely adapted automatically thanks to information received from other devices, vehicles, and other external means.

This translates into an optimization of transportation fleets and better traffic flows. Of course, it also means a reduction in energy expenditures and a lower environmental impact. The direct application of the IoT in car design can allow systems that control gas emission to be used in order to facilitate the organisation to create cleaner cities. They would also provide services that help manage collaborative driving economies, a trend which is on the upswing in society. Finally, of course, the IoT applied to cars means a better driving experience by getting information and thanks to the possibilities offered by smart vehicles. We are still only starting to see some of the applications, but we are sure that the coming decade will witness a real revolution in driving. And much of it will be due to the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things in public transportation

It is impossible to talk about a Smart City without talking about smart public transportation. That would be like talking about a healthy body with collapsed blood vessels. This is why the IoT has proven to be one of the best applications that public transportation can take advantage of. Why? World Carfree Day will be held September 22nd, just like every year, a day when people are invited to use cars less and other means of locomotion such as public transportation more. The reason is a world crowded with vehicles, which can be a growing problem, and this is when the means of public transport come into the spotlight. Thanks to the IoT, public transportation has evolved into one of the best ways to move around the city.

So we can now monitor in the location of vehicles real time, be alerted to unforeseen events, and even predict the arrival at our destination with incredible accuracy. We can also design custom routes and get sensitive information. Or we can communicate or look up all kinds of information while we are moving. Some of these uses are having astonishing results in cities as cosmopolitan as London, where its nearly nine million inhabitants can benefit from the information collected and analyzed in real time thanks to the IoT. Its applications allow them to pay more easily, better organize their trips, and pollute less. In short, thanks to the solutions offered by the Internet of Things, public transportation is now much better, more efficient, cleaner, and more comfortable, and therefore, a better solution when thinking about leaving your car parked.

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Telefónica IoT Team