Transportation: Big Problem, Small Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to make impacts in industries everywhere. Flexibility is the key in its design. From baby monitors to city infrastructure, it can be found to fit just about anywhere. One place it’s expected to make one of the largest impacts in our world though, is transportation.

Cars, planes, and public transportation like subways are just a few examples where IoT integration is highly anticipated.

In the United States, traffic congestion is an annual cost of a whopping $160 billion. With ride-sharing, smart public transportation, and autonomous cars, this number could be cut heftily.

Autonomous cars is one solution

Of course, it also comes with a few benefits more than just money in our wallets. Autonomous cars, for instance, can help the disabled become more mobile than ever before. They can reduce that road congestion, using roads more efficiently, as well as increasing commuters’ free time which they could use to nap, catch up on work, or any number of things.

The great thing about this is that nearly everyone relies on some mode of transportation.  Whether you’re taking your own car to work, a bus to the store, or the subway home, it affects us all.  Less people stuck in traffic and shorter commutes means less CO2 being released into the air, too.  Better for us and the environment!

Improving our infrastructure is a must

Congestion won’t just disappear, though. In fact, the root cause of congestion is actually city infrastructure. As it turns out, this too can be much more efficient than the timer system most of us are stuck with. With interconnected smart lights working together with autonomous smart cars, the roads would start flowing more like a river than a barely trickling stream.

It’s a lot easier said than done, though.  In a lot of areas, our roads are simply falling apart.  If we can’t even get the government to fix potholes, there’s little hope they’ll spend the money on smart lights.  Integrating cars into the system as well… let’s just say we’re at least a decade away from this reality.

Ride-sharing is another option

We’ve already got dozens of apps from Uber to Lyft to help. yet less than 10% of workers carpool. Over 50% of people who use ride-sharing apps only use it in special circumstances (read: falling over drunk), while another 26% only use it about once a month.

So what’s the solution to making more people interested in ride-sharing? Many believe it to be public-private partnerships. In short, make them more official. As it stands, even I feel like those apps don’t hold their drivers to a high standard and so I try my best to avoid using them. Experts have even go so far as to claim that with public-private partnerships, they could achieve “100% shared mobility for entire populations”.

The IoT is more than ready to break the mold of our transportation expectations, a mold which is already cracking thanks to population increases and our less-than-stellar infrastructure. Autonomous cars are already being developed by countless companies, while Continental tries to solve our smart light situations. The future is on its way. Reduced costs, carbon emissions, and increased mobility for us all is on the horizon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *