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Loving cars and testing the future of transportation in Stockholm

Editor's note: Today we are featuring a post by Simon Moritz, Senior Researcher of Machine Learning at Ericsson. I like cars, and I like motorcycles. I like snowmobiles, and I like motorboats. In fact, I like all engines that “roar”. When I was 15 years old, I borrowed my father’s rear loader and a piece of land in our backyard in the north of Sweden to build my very own racing track.

Loving cars and testing the future of transportation in Stockholm

But I also like our beautiful planet Earth. I like the sunsets, the white snow and the Stockholm archipelago. I like clean air with no pollution, and I like the opportunity to be able to drink a cold glass of water directly from the tap.

Today in our cities there is a lot of transport that is not synchronized and a lot of resources not utilized to the extent that they could. Looking at any random city, there will be a lot of taxi cars standing idle (many with their engines turned on) and waiting for people that they don't know when and if they will arrive. Today when the train arrives to a station, potential connecting buses have already left, and the 200 people arriving on the train have to either wait or walk.

A few weeks ago in Stockholm/Kista, Ericsson demonstrated – together with Nobina (a bus operator) and the city Stockholm/Kista Science City and a number of other supporting partners – solutions that show the future of transport and ticketing.

These included test rides in driverless buses all around Kista, as well as testing new ways of paying for multimodal transport in what the industry refer to as Mobility as a Service, that is, just as it is today possible to use your local mobile operator subscription even when you are abroad, in the future it will be possible to use your local city travel card account even when commuting in a foreign city or country.

The ultimate goal of these solutions is to serve the travel demands of inhabitants in the smart city. Sometimes this means providing the right information in due time to the drivers (seen in the demo Automated Networked Transport) and sometimes information is sent directly to driverless buses, like the driverless buses used in the field test from the CityMobil2 showcase with the EasyMile

By connecting vehicles, infrastructure and ultimately people, it will be possible to help them communicate among each other and cooperate. When we then know what needs to be served, we can start to make it more and more automatic, creating a transport system that is connected, cooperative and automated.

With a truly intelligent transportation system my hope is that we will create sustainable society. A society through which the planet Earth can flourish and from time to time we can afford to ride fun fast roaring vehicles over asphalt, water and snow.

This we cannot achieve alone, but working together in a truly triple helix spirit between academia, industries and governments, I believe it is possible.

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