By: Daniela Navas
Technology is definitely reshaping the global mobility landscape. Here is what we need to make it work.
At EYESAFE, we aim to contribute to the creation of smarter and safer ecosystems where different actors of the industry converge and work together towards a sustainable future. That is why we are all about using technology to innovate and create new possibilities for customers and cities around the world.
Our cities suffer from deteriorating air quality and increasing traffic congestion that strangles our roads and highways, which ultimately results in poor life quality for all of us. In order to be sustainable, cities need to be less car-centric. It is necessary to build smart cities with smarter mobility systems.
We are aware that our cities must be more liveable, and we believe we can achieve it by innovating on the mobility landscape. It has been proved that building infrastructure capacity is, in many cases, slow and costly. Therefore, we must think of different solutions to the problem.
The way we travel from point A to point B is changing. As we already know, there is a new ecosystem of mobility taking place in all the big cities worldwide: Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Data and technology play an important part in this change, of course, but if we want it to keep growing, the public and private sectors must sit on the same table.
MaaS depends on a digital platform that integrates payment services, electronic ticketing and ride planning, through all modes of transportation in a way that is faster, cleaner, and less expensive than currently available and disconnected options. However, its success depends on getting all of the players to work together.
Governments should define the vision that must be shared by the players, ensuring safety and security above all of the benefits. It should also encourage innovation, in order to find new visions for how technology could be used to overcome some of the most pressing urban transportation and environmental challenges. In some countries, this is already working.
Some of these government initiatives have resulted in new services that mix data, technology, and car sharing. For instance, three US cities (Boston, Washington, DC, and Kansas City) share a form of on-demand bus service, which is limited to rides between specific residential areas and business districts. The routes are planned based on rider pick-up and drop-off destinations, matching transportation capacity to demand in real time.
In San Francisco, there is another on-demand service. This one ‘crowdsources’ routes and according to its description, ‘riders input their desired pick-up location, and the system matches it to existing routes and available seats. If no suitable route exists, the user’s request is stored and used to determine where the most popular future routes might be’. This way, cities are able to offer a wider array of mobility options, which positively affects lives of millions of people, putting their needs at the very core.
Certainly, it is necessary that both the public and the private sectors work together towards a sustainable future. Government’s initiatives and private companies’ innovative services can lead to smarter mobility which means higher productivity, better air quality, fewer traffic accidents, resulting in a better life for people all around the world.
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