What role is technology playing in the worldwide expansion of the transportation industry?
Rapid technological advancements and the rise of “smart city” paradigms in recent years have fueled the creation of cutting-edge smart transportation infrastructures, methods, strategies, and technologies. Opportunities and challenges for developing cities to move toward a more sustainable future are created by innovative transportation systems. Despite widespread interest in the idea, not enough has been said or understood to form a solid framework for assessing the smart transit system. Experts agree that it is extremely difficult to create a toolbox that satisfies both practitioners and scholars in the process of constructing transport investments and interventions. The growth of smart transportation that is actually useful requires cutting-edge, value-added technology and transparent, accountable leadership.
It’s not just a theory for the future; it’s already being put into practice in a number of global metropolises. The ever-growing smart city in New York has allowed the city to effectively adopt smart transportation. Despite this, rural Wyoming has become a center for connected cars because it is a major freight route. The efficiency of the supply chain can be improved, according to experts, and the need for long-distance drivers can be reduced if products are transported autonomously.
Growth of Smart Transportation
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the global market volume of smart transportation is expected to increase from USD 94.5 billion in 2020 to USD 156.5 billion by the end of 2025, at a CAGR of 10.6 percent during the speculated period. However, the market research firm Data Bridge predicted that the same industry would expand by 14.6% between 2021 and 2028. It is hypothesized that the need for efficient management systems will be triggered by the present inefficient transportation infrastructure and the increasing number of vehicles operating on the roads. In addition, robust government incentives and efforts, and efficient management of existing transportation, would boost the development of this industry.
Source: Data Bridge Market Research
It’s important to understand what’s pushing the smart transportation industry upward. It’s the result of more people living in cities and more cars on the road. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) rely heavily on technological advancements, and in order to maximize their potential, numerous government programs and private-public partnership (PPP) projects have been launched and implemented. Additionally driving this market is the expanding use of analytics and concomitant technological advances aimed at bettering the customer experience.
Experts say that increasing road safety measures for pedestrians, drivers, and passengers and decreasing the number of accidents is necessary to boost its development in the coming years. In order to better alert highway traffic, modern highways in developed countries are outfitted with sophisticated radar and in-pavement warning lights. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is developing innovative strategies, such as samp metering, to alleviate traffic congestion.
According to techArc’s founder and senior research analyst Faisal Kawoosa, Europe will have the largest market share in ITS by the end of 2020 because it is one of the most technologically advanced regions and has invested heavily in improving its infrastructure. The European Commission has proposed spending USD 13 billion on at least 276 different transportation projects through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). These funds will be used to improve urban transportation infrastructure in the UK and France, as well as to update the smart train network across Europe. Countries in the European Union (EU) that are supported by its social and economic agreements have helped increase passenger traffic in Europe, and as a result, developed western European countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, and France are using the top-notch smart transportation technologies.
Global Challenges of Smart Transportation
Smart cities must provide smart mobility solutions if they are to achieve sustainability objectives and spur innovation. When examined through the perspective of a smart city planner, these challenges are associated with the rapid landscape change of urban mobility. To combat sustainability issues, air quality concerns, and traffic congestion, as well as to design a secure, effective, and safe public transportation system with mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and other podiums, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and amalgamation with knowledge institutions are urgently needed.
The smart transportation industry incorporates a wide variety of technological elements, including networks, software, hardware, and numerous suppliers. Integration of smart technology components with existing transportation systems is difficult because of protocol problems and a lack of an open interface. There may be a breakdown in communication between contemporary systems supported by technology and older systems, and substantial resources will be needed to upgrade the legacy systems, all because of integration problems. These challenges are expected to slow the expansion of this industry.
When asked what they thought their greatest challenge would be, techArc founder Faisal Kawoosa told CircuitDigest, “integration with the existing infrastructure.” In India, for example, over 90% of smart transportation requires infrastructure upgrade, and since these are all brownfield projects, they will be prohibitively expensive and difficult to execute. As an illustration, we think back to when Delhi had a bus rapid transit system (BRT). Aside from the obvious gains to efficiency and economy that this would bring about, it might also encourage more people to take advantage of public transportation. Many residents in the NCR area use it as an alternative to the metro. Fast infrastructure upgrades to meet demands, however, will be a challenge.
Smart mobility, where people get accurate information about traffic conditions and various route recommendations via Google Maps in the event of traffic congestion, is the best example of automated processes in action. Because of the industry’s heavy reliance on digital technology, cyber security threats are also a major concern. The cybercriminals could launch an assault on the city’s control and signaling networks, not just its information technology. They are responsible for attacks on, or rather disruptions to, networking systems that trigger breakdowns in public transportation networks.
Role of Technology in Smart Transportation Systems
Sensors, data communications, the cloud, and mobility are all essential components of the IoT design, and their effective implementation is crucial to the widespread adoption of smart transportation. Rapid progress in these areas over the past few years has allowed for greater connectivity between things, paving the way for a smarter ecosystem. For instance, the introduction of IPv6 enables nearly all devices to link to the internet, providing a deeper insight into consumer habits for better decision-making. train and road traffic management systems, train operations management systems, incident management systems, travel assistance systems, and toll collection systems are just some of the solutions and applications that are benefiting from the latest advancements in high-performance networking technologies. Control devices and smart networking are set to become more autonomous and perceptive as technology advances. Using the cloud, smart transit can collect data from various locations and send it to one hub for analysis. From a technological perspective, the next five years will see the greatest effect on smart transportation initiatives from the expanding use and interest in ML/data analytics, IoT, and cybersecurity.
With radar, cameras, computer vision, lidar, and AI-integrated devices, intelligent transportation can also equip vehicles and roads with precise sensing capabilities. The collected and aggregated data tells the transportation department about the potholes, weather conditions, pedestrian locations, and icy spots so that early warnings can be provided to riders.
Another important technology that is greatly influencing the development of smart communities and the transportation industry is the Internet of Things (IoT). The integration of such technology allows for the creation of a network that can be managed centrally, which in turn can effectively maintain and manage the goods, optimize or measure the distance covered by every vehicle, and positively affect the sector’s ability to generate revenue. Security, cost reduction, safety, and advancements in operational efficacy are among the most significant benefits of IoT in the transportation industry. The Internet of Things will alter how people engage with and use vehicles, while IoT-enabled infrastructure like surveillance cameras and traffic lights pave the way for more efficient administration.