Smart Cities Help to Solve Traffic Issues

21th February 2016 -

Lately the term of „intelligent“ things is proliferating, whether it is mobile phones, houses, measurements (Smart Metering) or even healthcare. Cities are also part of this movement and the concept of an „intelligent city“ (Smart City) is well-known and used in urbanism, city planning and public administration.

What makes an intelligent city different from a traditional one? The first glance offers almost nothing, but a deeper examination reveals significant differences. Citizens of an intelligent city enjoy better air quality and less traffic jams, as its administration uses intelligent traffic and parking management systems, which optimise traffic and lower the level of emissions. People pay less for energies as buildings are equipped with automatic heating or shading temperature regulators and utilise alternative energy sources. Facility managers implement intelligent energy consumption data collection systems (Smart Metering), energy companies install efficient public lightning systems. An intelligent city allows its citizens to be more connected to their authorities via a variety of electronic services.

There is no universal concept of an intelligent city, as each of them is unique with its unique issues. However, the common denominator is data, large quantities of information (Big Data) required for managing a smart city. Information technology must be ready for processing, analysing and returning big data (Fast Data) for further managing and large-scale simulations of potential events.

It is difficult to imagine city planners allowing new development without examining, in detail, its impacts, whether it is the amount of cars, their distribution throughout the day, environment impact or parking requirements. Simulation of these factors in a variety of conditions in accelerated time is the essential ingredient of decision making.

We have been participating in different aspects of intelligent cities for a few years. We provide operation systems for distribution companies and electronic services for cities. We focus on selected areas of traffic systems from simulations to optimisation and prediction of maintenance systems serving citizens as well as road management authorities. Citizens can find routes using several types of traffic (combined traffic) with respect to current and expected traffic intensity. Road management authorities gain an overview of their infrastructure, predict future repair and maintenance costs as well as suggest solutions to increase the traffic flow and decrease city traffic jams.