Food for thought on Smart Mobility

Our modern society suffers from a series of problems regarding mobility. Commuters regularly face seemingly endless traffic jams and queues to get from their homes to their workplace and vice versa. Policy makers often refer to “Smart Mobility” as a possible solution for these problems. But why are we not there yet?

by DSP Valley

A recently conducted European survey has shown that we have the technology for intelligent infrastructure, we know how to build Smart Cars, and we are able to produce Smart Bikes. So, the technology is there, but getting to Smart Mobility requires more. A workshop, organized by DSP Valley and hosted on the Advanced Engineering fair on May 17th, tried to come up with some answers. Three presenters looked at the mobility problem and suggested a way to tackle it, looking from their perspective. They all focused on the question ‘What is additionally needed to embrace Smart Mobility?’

A real demand for applicable solutions

First in the line-up was Tim Asperges, Mobility expert at the city of Leuven. In very clear words he elaborated on the mobility of the city. What are the different problem areas ? How were they addressed in the past and how should we tackle them now and in the future ? And most importantly: how can technology be of help? At some points, he explicitly solicited for technological inputs asking applicable solutions.

The city of Leuven asked for applicable solutions in Smart Mobility.

Detection of traffic movements
smart mobility 2
Be-Mobile detects movements in the traffic streams and afterwards, seeks solutions by the use of statistical models.

The second speaker, Jan Cools , CEO of Be-Mobile, took a more scientific approach of the problem. He elaborated on their developed techniques to measure and analyse the problem. By means of anonymous data, Be-Mobile detects movements in the traffic streams. They detect traffic jams, slowing traffic or other incidents and record these informations. Afterwards, conclusions are drawn and solutions sought by the use of statistical models. This way of working is indispensable for automatic driver support and even for autonomous driving.

Drones monitor critical traffic situations

The final presenter, Frank Vanwelkenhuyzen, founder of DroneMatrix, focused on a new way of monitoring dangerous or critical traffic situations. By using a drone to capture all kinds of data of the situation to analyse, they are able to derive different interesting metrics to analyse the traffic safety and other mobility aspects. The use of technology makes it possible to eliminate the necessity of human observers, hence reducing the possibility of errors. An ingenious software model at the heart of the system takes care of the data processing and visualization.

Using different ways to analyse, measure, evaluate the mobility situation continuously will be key.

Although we had three entirely different presenters and presentation topics, they all provided food for thought in the journey towards smart mobility. It will be key to understand and use different kinds of ways to analyse, measure, evaluate the mobility situation continuously, if we want to reach the end goal: smart mobility everywhere for everyone.