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Mobility a major focus for smart city innovation growth

Increasingly complex operating landscapes are forcing cities to seek out novel technologies and business models to help support future urban mobility.

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Cities know that they have to confront the pain points in their mobility landscape
Cities know that they have to confront the pain points in their mobility landscape

Rapid urbanisation, increasing global populations, and financial constraints brought on by Covid-19 are forcing cities to address the pain points and inefficiencies of current urban mobility landscapes, a new report finds.

 

According to Mobility Innovations for Smarter Cities released by Lux Research, the upshot of these increasingly complex operating landscapes is that cities are turning to novel technologies and business models to help support future urban mobility.

 

People, commerce, and infrastructure

 

The report sets out to explore the most relevant technologies likely to impact the future of urban mobility and its effect on people, commerce, and infrastructure.

 

“These increasingly complex environments have forced companies and municipalities to explore cost-effective, novel technologies that better manage the transportation of people and goods while improving safety, reducing congestion, and curbing vehicle emissions,” said Chad Goldberg, research associate at Lux, and the report’s lead author.

 

The three pillars of urban mobility innovation focus on: moving people through mobility services and public transit; transporting packages and goods with a focus on automated delivery services; and creating the right infrastructure based on technologies that enable digital solutions.

 

Innovation in shared mobility services includes increased investment in public transit, ride-hailing, and car-sharing applications. Public transit agencies are actively exploring solutions that help maintain or increase ridership while maximising the efficiency of existing assets.

“These increasingly complex environments have forced companies and municipalities to explore cost-effective, novel technologies that better manage the transportation of people and goods”

Emerging use cases for autonomous vehicles indicate that the technology will first benefit the delivery sector, Lux notes. By 2030, autonomous vehicle lockers are expected to deliver more than 20 billion parcels, and Lux predicts that autonomous deliveries will generate more than $33bn in revenue.

 

Infrastructure innovations will utilise intelligent transportation systems that improve mobility by monitoring and controlling the flow of both vehicles and pedestrians. Many municipalities consider this application as low-hanging fruit and are aggressively targeting it to positively impact traffic flow. Integrated sensors and software technologies can capture traffic data and analytics that inform both city officials and control signals.

 

In order to be successful, the report cautions that urban mobility innovation must address limited city budgets and involve close collaboration between technology partners, the transportation sector, and city officials. “Technology suppliers must develop cost-effective solutions with measurable ROI for resource-strapped municipalities,” it stated.

 

Lux Research is a provider of tech-enabled research and advisory services.

 

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