Smart mobility apps for smarter living
Smart cities are growing into bigger ecosystems, which used to be disconnected. Take the transportation of goods and people in big cities – haven’t we all been stuck in slow-moving traffic lanes at one time or another?
Urban transportation can be drastically improved by leveraging the large volumes of sensor data available in today’s cities. Who wouldn’t want to live somewhere that can anticipate potential traffic congestion due to road works or the increased demand for busses after a crowded concert?
Ericsson Research’s smart apps target transportation needs in large cities as part of the European Commission’s CityPulse project. Read on to discover all about the Tourism scheduler, Pick-up planner and Dynamic bus scheduler.
The CityPulse project has adopted an integrated approach to IoT and the Internet of People (IoP), which makes it easier to create reliable and scalable real-time smart city applications. The project has developed a framework that contains a number of open-source components, adaptable machine learning and data analytics algorithms for various types of data. As one of the partners, Ericsson Research has used and extended the components of the project framework to develop our applications.
Ericsson Research team presented the smart transportation applications during the Kista Mobility Week. From left to right: Nicholas Got, Aneta Vulgarakis Feljan, Azadeh Bararsani and Ilyass Garara
The Tourism planner helps tourists get around smarter. Our currently implemented use case covers the city of Stockholm. The application is designed to generate the ideal travel plan for visitors with budget and time restraints while considering their special interests in visiting certain places. The end user gets a schedule on when to visit places of interest and also how to get there considering the current traffic situation. Benefits of the app include improved experiences by the end users and therefore a more enjoyable city visit.
The application helps provide a full schedule based on the time and budget limitations of the user.
People with limited mobility often experience difficulties when taking public transport in big cities. Some choose not to use it at all. At any one time, there are a large number of people who choose private transportation to get around.
The Pick-up planner gathers users’ travel requirements within a city through the end-user app. This includes a pick-up address, destination, time restrictions and special needs if any (e.g. wheelchair for disabled people). The planner then comes up with a plan for fleet management companies, with information about when to send a vehicle to pick-up the users and consequently the users are notified.
The system dynamically reconfigures the routes each vehicle should take for the assigned users based on real-time traffic condition information, which in turn is gathered from the road infrastructure and other connected vehicles registered to the system. Our evaluation shows that the algorithm decreases the total distance traveled by the vehicles, and therefore reduces the fuel consumption.
Pick-up planner gathers users’ transportation needs and comes up with an optimum path for the fleet management drivers how to pick them up.
The benefits of such a system for fleet management companies as well as the city are obvious: reduced number of vehicles on the road, decreased fuel consumption and optimized routes, as well as increased costumer satisfaction by offering decreased travel and waiting time.
Dynamic bus scheduler
The Dynamic bus scheduler builds on the work we presented in our earlier blog post, Personalized bus transportation. As an extension to that work, the Dynamic bus scheduler system detects traffic flow along the regular path of each bus, in which case the bus driver will get notified of incidents beforehand, and instructions on alternative routes to take.
The dynamic bus scheduler system has the potential to help adjust the number of buses in circulation to meet demand, with more buses on the road during peak times and fewer during quieter periods. In addition, users benefit from a reliable transportation system that despite traffic problems will provide good service throughout the day.
More about smart cities
We are doing more in the smart cities space. You might enjoy reading some of the below articles, or download Ericsson’s 2016 Networked Society City Index to learn more about the future of smart cities.