Efficient transportation or mobility is an important aspect of smart cities. The transportation system has the huge potential to generate mobility data which can be converted into useful insight and later be used to explore and improve different transportation dimensions. According to recent research, the mobility data generated from transportation can enhance the economic growth of smart cities by 3%, equating to a $20 trillion additional benefit.
The significance of mobility data for smart cities has grown because it helps decision-makers plan, improve, and maintain the cities. Data is rightly called the new gold as we move toward the age of digitization. Data helps individuals, communities, organizations, and municipalities make informed decisions. While allowing open access to mobility data, cities are now working to enhance transparency through connected networks.
The mobility data’s utilization must align with the smart city vision for making transport smooth, secure, and efficient for the public. The following article depicts the importance of utilizing mobility data for smart cities and how it is fueling the future of transportation.
How is Mobility Data Generated?
Mobility is the potential driving factor of economies all around the globe, as we have observed rapid urbanization. Mobility is all about moving people, resources, and goods from one place to another, and in this process, the mode of transportation used generates a gigantic amount of data. This data includes all the information related to transportation assets, traffic flow, and trips.
Citizens, private mobility solution providers, and public transit agencies are considered to be the potential sources of generating mobility data. Real-time and historical mobility data are very important in improving the transportation system. It can be derived from the user application or the IoT sensor used by different organizations. For instance, parking sensors can tell drivers about the available parking spot, which ultimately improves the traffic flow, or automatic license plate recognition through adaptive cameras can detect a vehicle violating traffic rules and regulations, etc.
Why is Mobility Data Important for Smart Cities?
– Better Transport Facility
The gathering and analysis of mobility data are of great importance because of their ability to make the cities smarter and more futuristic. One of the most viable reasons behind the utilization of mobility data is to identify the discrepancies in the current transportation system. Based on all the mobility data gathered in this regard, municipalities can identify the transportation problem and rectify them to provide better transportation services to the citizens. Apart from this, mobility data can also inform the citizens about the arrival and departure of trains and buses so that they can plan their trips accordingly. Identifying the heavy traffic routes, available parking spots, etc., are some additional perks of mobility data for better transport facilities.
– Road Safety and Security
Providing and maintaining high safety and security standards is one of the most important smart cities’ aims. To fulfill this aim, mobility data is efficiently utilized by smart cities, as this data highlights the road safety and security hotspots in the city. For instance, with the help of adaptive cameras on the road, authorities can identify high-risk robbery areas and potential road accident threats. The real-time mobility data enable law enforcement authorities to respond to the risk and rectify the situation immediately. Speaking of road safety and security, Conure’s LPR solution OLIOS-LPR helps track down the suspicious vehicle involved in the crime by scanning the license plate. The technology generates and utilizes another form of mobility data that can be used for crime prevention in smart cities.
– Better Mobility Infrastructure
Mobility data can also help municipalities to design and maintain better mobility infrastructure, public transit, and routes. For instance, by analyzing the mobility data associated with commute patterns and traffic, city administrators can help planners identify the areas in the city to build infrastructure and add transit routes where required which can ultimately reduce traffic congestion on the roads. Moreover, with the help of mobility data, the structural health of the transportation infrastructure can also be monitored with greater efficiency.
– Effective Regulation Enforcement
Transport generates an enormous amount of data daily, which can be utilized to ensure the effective implementation of regulations. The mobility data captured through IoT sensors and cameras allow the regulators to monitor every aspect of transportation, including the mode of transport, the route followed, speed, etc., to see violations that might occur on the roads and prevent them from happening again. Instead of doing rounds on the street in patrolling vehicles, officers can now leverage mobility data to autonomously monitor the streets and ensure regulation enforcement in smart cities with greater efficiency.
-Understanding Citizen’s Habit
Mobility data analysis can help identify the citizens’ activities and habits in urban areas. For instance, city administrators can get information about the most visited places or roads on a specific day or time. This can help improve and maintain the areas or routes that might have been used frequently so that citizens can get a hassle-free transport experience.
Challenges of Mobility Data Optimization
Mobility data is of great use for smart cities. However, some challenges are hindering its complete utilization and optimization. The most prominent challenge is the lack of data sharing, as the companies dealing with the city’s transportation prefer to work autonomously and avoid data sharing due to privacy concerns and competition. This highlights the need for a common data-sharing platform accessible to the required personnel for better smart city management and decision-making. Another challenge is the lack of data standardization, as the cities cannot determine the standard for mobility data sharing for smart city management. Thus, a data-sharing mechanism is essential for utilizing mobility data efficiently and making cities smarter.
The effective utilization of mobility data has proven useful for developing a smart city’s transportation infrastructure. From the benefits discussed in the following article, it can be concluded that the city’s administrators require data to understand the transport system and how the citizens interact with the transport infrstructure developed for them and the transport facility provided to them. In this regard, mobility data is of great importance as it facilitates the municipalities in understanding their transport infrastructure, which can further facilitate building and maintaining the smart infrastructure.