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Enabling Smart Transportation in Today's Interconnected World
By Eric Hui, Director Business Development - Iot Ecosystems, Asia Pacific, Equinix
Transport is a crucial element of any smart city. Yet, building transport infrastructure alone is not sufficient; we need to optimize the capacity of a city to address ever-growing passenger demand-particularly in existing central business districts which cannot easily accommodate expansion.
To deliver this optimization, we need ways to integrate the latest ‘hardware’ developments – i.e. roads and rail lines, with connectivity to the latest digital solutions and innovations. With smart transportation using smart flow systems, we can assess things like traffic flows in real time thanks to sensors and video capture. Traffic lights can then adjust intervals based on dynamically-calculated data and factor in many continually shifting data sets, which are being added to and feeding multiple highly connected and intelligently provisioned analysis engines.
Instant response and accuracy are of the utmost importance to transportation. Massive quantities of data, generated from many endpoints, needs to be aggregated, processed and stored at the edge, where it’s collected or created, to ensure seamless, real-time data transfer and responses.
Efficient vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication requires traffic hotspots and overcrowding flashpoints to be assessed for real time analysis, to help authorities and different service providers to react and make decisions especially in case of emergencies and disasters.
To respond immediately, respective parties need to be interconnected – for example, transportation departments need direct access to IP camera and app service providers to deliver latest traffic updates to mobile apps. Equinix is helping companies in the transportation ecosystem to transmit, process and analyze data over a highly interconnected platform.
We don’t know how long it will take us to reach our ‘utopia’, where all systems involving transportation are interconnected with each other
For example, Equinix works with Iguazio, which digitally transforms businesses by streamlining data volumes for real time, intelligent applications, to optimize performance in the smart transportation industry in Asia-Pacific, offering a fully managed, real time solution for high performance AI and event-driven applications. This is enabling them to help ride-hailing applications like Grab in Asia-Pacific to achieve better utilization of data and ultimately deliver a more seamless door-to-door transport service.
Interconnection is helping Asia-Pacific based ride-hailing companies to deliver high-quality customer experience with low latency, enabling proximity between users, IoT devices and cloud at the edge to maximize performance and ensure security.
Smart transportation in Asia-Pacific
Key markets in Asia-Pacific have already embarked on implementing various smart transportation projects. For instance, Hong Kong has four key strategies for smart transportation as part of its Smart City Blueprint - Intelligent transport system and traffic management, public transport interchanges/bus stops and parking, environmental friendly transport, and smart airport initiatives. Meanwhile in Singapore, the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority announced that autonomous scheduled buses and autonomous on-demand shuttles will serve commuters in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District (JID) in Singapore from 2022.
Travel smart in the interconnected era
Smart transportation is still developing in many countries. We don’t know how long it will take us to reach our ‘Utopia’, where all systems involving transportation are interconnected with each other; that car drivers, transport passengers and walking or cycling citizens are all communicating with, data-sharing with, and benefitting from, the amalgam of analyses which can be derived from this sort of interconnected approach. That’s the near-future destination. And interconnection at the edge is how we will get there.