By 2050 cities are forecast to be inhabited by 6.5 billion people, and making cities smarter to accommodate the population boom is on the minds of transportation experts around the world.





Connected vehicles communicate with each other and everything around them
such as traffic lights, road signs and wearables.
(Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Transportation) Public domain




Intelligent traffic management systems, connected and autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing services, parking apps, electrified public transit and commercial fleets promise benefits such as improved access to transit and better air quality.


Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology will serve as the foundation for vehicles to communicate with each other and everything around them, providing 360º non-line-of-sight awareness and a higher level of predictability for enhanced road safety and autonomous driving.


Smart City creation is dependent on the same technologies underlying the Internet of Things (Iot).


The IoT is expected to transform mobility with more ride-sharing, less road congestion and greater mobility for the disabled. Autonomous vehicles operating through the IoT will use roads more efficiently than human drivers, giving commuters more free time. Commercial fleets can run at non-peak hours, and more ride-sharing will mean fewer parking spaces, freeing up urban space for other uses.


It all depends on massive amounts of data and the ability and willingness to share that data.


"Code is the new concrete for 21st century cities and we need a digital infrastructure to share data and create safer and more sustainable streets," said Janette Sadik-Khan, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and an advisor on transportation and urban issues.


She supports SharedStreets, a neutral, anonymous clearinghouse for data collected by transportation providers, private companies and government agencies, as well as a hub for data analysis, traffic planning, street design and the development of new technologies for autonomous and connective driving of the future.


"The SharedStreets platform offers cities and private sector players a powerful new data sharing tool to make that future possible," said Sadik-Khan.


C40 Cities estimates that the global smart city market is expected to grow to $1.6 trillion within the next three years. But it will take citizen engagement, data sharing, and collaborations of all kinds, whether city-city, city-state, city-federal or public-private.


Some automakers revel in the opportunities for cross-industry collaboration. "Digitization will redefine the properties of the car. Connectivity and autonomous driving are two megatrends to shape tomorrow’s vehicles, but this transformation will go further. Data, cloud technology and new business models will be the major drivers of innovation and create an ecosystem around our core product," said Alfons Pfaller, head of infotainment development, Audi AG. "Therefore the key to success is cross-industry collaboration."



Vehicles can convey their intention and planned movements to each other using 5G NR C-V2X,
a technology that enables better autonomous path planning with a higher level of predictability.
(Photo courtesy Qualcomm Technologies)



From Australia, Zoe Eather, host of The Smart City Podcast <>and founding member of Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators, says, "Smart will look different in different places, different projects and from different perspectives, but essentially we need to co-create a shared vision. A vision that is Smart, a vision where we focus on what the community wants/needs/desires and a vision where we utilise the most relevant and appropriate technology to enable this. We do this to make cities, spaces and places more accessible, liveable and just cool places to be."


Smart City Events This Fall Worldwide


Many thousands of people from all walks of life are gathering in conferences over the next several months to further the evolution of Smart Cities.


Jesse Berst, founder and chairman, Smart Cities Council, has explained smart cities this way, "You’re not really a Smart City until you’ve made all the aspects of urban life smart and you’ve interconnected them all. We’re not there yet; in each of those individual silos there are wonderful examples, but we haven’t put it all together. It’ll be 20 or 30 years and it’ll be an ongoing journey."


  • Smart Cities Week is happening October 2-4 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, organized by the Smart Cities Council.

    This year’s theme is Collaboration: the cornerstone of the smart city.

    Tracks this year include: Re-imagining transportation, Enlightened financing, The smart workforce, Data for civic good, and Smart infrastructure. All five tracks include sessions highlighting collaborations betwwen city and city, city and state, city and federal, and public-private.



Washington is not the only Smart Cities Week the Council is hosting. Smart Cities Week Silicon Valley took place May 7-9 in Santa Clara, California, attended by mayors from across the USA. A workshop on using the science of well being to guide the evolution of a smart city was one of the most popular as participants learned how cities can leverage the power of data to improve livability, workability and sustainability.



  • On October 3-4 the TU-Automotive West Coast Conference is scheduled for San Jose, California in Silicon Valley. The event is organized by KNect365, a division of Informa, a multinational events and publishing company based in London, UK.

    Public-private data partnerships are on the agenda, as is a workshop titled, Edge v Cloud: Processing the Data Hoard, which focuses on the transfer of data to make real-time decisions in connected and autonomous vehicles.

    There's a lot of interest in a workshop called, Blockchain: From Hype to Application, which will explore what Blockchain is and what this technology brings when applied to connected cars and mobility solutions.

    Participants will learn how Blockchain allows the creation of digital ledgers with un-tamperable data, increasing transparency, security and preventing counterfeits by techniques such as putting tags in products.

    They will learn to use Blockchain’s decentralization properties, how a network of nodes opens up to third parties and new services, and the benefits of running in totally decentralized ways.



  • On October 16-17, the ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles USA Conference is taking place at the Suburban Collection Showplace, a convention and expo center in Novi, Michigan, 20 miles west-northwest of Metro Detroit.


The outlines of an autonomous car, 2017 (Photo by Automobile Italia) Creative Commons License via Flickr

ADAS stands for advanced driver-assistance systems, and the event will focus on "the here and now of self-driving technology," organizers say.


  • At the end of October, for three days, October 29-31, the Smart Cities Council is hosting Smart Cities Week Australia, in Sydney.

    The event will be filled with boardroom discussions on the smart state, cybersecurity, digital built environment and innovation districts; masterclasses on building your IoT strategy, creating public places and spaces of the future and engaging in next generation utilities; a showcase stage for innovators; and a research forum bringing government, academia and industry together to explore the role of research in accelerating smart cities.



  • Smart Cities Summit is planned for October 29-30 in Atlanta, Georgia. This event, too, is organized by KNect365.

    For the first time, Smart Cities Summit will be co-located with Internet of Things (IoT) events - both Industrial IoT World and the IoT Blockchain Summit, to provide more opportunities for shared learning and networking.

    The Summit will explore 10 steps to smart city readiness; public-private partnerships, sustainable infrastructure, 5G, and ecomobility. Speakers will share insights on new disruptive technologies, innovation procurement and bringing together small and large cities to build on collaboration.


  • Smart City Expo Barcelona is set for November 13-15 in Barcelona, Spain, organized by the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) Representatives of 700+ cities are expected to attend.

    The event will focus on what makes a city more livable, sustainable, resilient, inclusive and smarter with a focus on people. It is intended to reinforce the smart community all over the world.

    Five main topics are on the agenda: Digital Transformation, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance and Finance, and Inclusive and Sharing Cities.

    The Smart Mobility Congress<>, the International Integrated Water Cycle Show (Iwater)<>, the Circular Economy European Summit<> and the Sharing Cities Summit<> will be held in parallel to the SCEWC, creating synergies between the co-located events.

    "It's the place to find ways together with cities to accelerate the deployment of smart city projects," says Ralf Nejedl, senior vice president B2B Europe, Deutsche Telekom.


What Does Ecomobility in a Smart City Look Like?


Cities throughout the world have many and varied approaches to integrated mobility:


  • Columbus, Ohio, winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge, will build a Smart Columbus Operating System to provide near-real-time data on traffic conditions throughout the city. The city will later expand the system to all smart city operations and services.


  • Singapore's Intelligent Transport System keeps tabs on traffic congestion charges and electronic road pricing and monitors traffic with road sensors and GPS apps in taxis, and sends the information to a control center that relays that information to travelers.


  • Residents of Helsinki, Finland can use Whim, a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) app, that allows them to plan their trips and pay for their rides - be it a bike, train, taxi, bus or car share.


  • The city of Cascais, Portugal, a popular travel destination, offers a similar service for residents and visitors. Several cities and private sector operators are looking at ways to adopt MaaS to their unique circumstances.


  • The city of Olympia, Washington, in April launched new parking management software and technology to make it easier for citizens to pay for parking permits and apply for them. The city is phasing in a Pay-by-Phone system that will allow payment by smart phone at city parking meters and notify users when the meter is about to expire so they can add time remotely.


  • The city of Dallas, Texas, is exploring ways to integrate smart technologies into street rehabilitation projects that could include smart-powered lanes to provide in-road charging for electric vehicles. Other options are traffic controls that regulate traffic lights according to traffic flow and LED street lights equipped with multiple sensors.


  • Chicago and AT&T have been working together on approaches and technologies to make the city more connected, smarter, livable and manageable. Chicago was one of the first cities selected for the smart cities program the company launched last year.

    AT&T and Chicago will field test smart transit shelters that include free WiFi, digital displays that track and update bus arrival times and intelligent lighting. Smart kiosks will offer USB charging ports and touch screens that provide travel, weather and public safety information. For the pilot, three bus shelters and five kiosks will be installed around the city.



In China, the Hangzhou "City Brain" project, created by Chinese retail and tech company Alibaba and launched in 2016, uses camera systems and sensors across the city to collect data on road conditions in real time. The data is fed to an AI hub, which then manages traffic signals at 128 intersections, and helps city officials make better decisions at a faster rate.


To solve Shanghai’s public parking frustration, Chinese tech giant Huawei launched a smart parking network that allows car users to find, book and pay for nearby parking spots from a smartphone app.




Yan'an Elevated Road Shanghai, China (Photo by Robert S. Donovan)


Chip-sets are embedded beneath parking spaces in over 300 parking lots across the city, which collate and transmit real-time information on the occupancy rate of parking lots to car drivers through the app.


RUGGEDISED is a smart city project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. It brings together three lighthouse cities: Rotterdam, Netherlands; Glasgow, Scotland; and Umeå, Sweden and three follower cities: Brno, Czech Republic; Gdansk, Poland; and Parma, Italy to test, implement and accelerate the smart city model across Europe.


Working in partnership with businesses and research centers, these six cities will demonstrate how to combine  information and communications technology (ICT), ecomobility and energy solutions to design smart, resilient cities.


"In order for urban data platforms to progress, cities must bridge this gap and have a clear vision about how to take the platform beyond just making data sources available, by connecting data sources with app developers and enabling the creation and exchange of value on the platform," says Dr. Haydee Sheombar, research consultant and coach at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).


Data from 34 European cities’ urban data platforms have been gathered and analysed on the stage of development, the vision behind these platforms, the design of business and technology, implementation barriers and accelerators, and the platforms’ use and impact.


"Both technical and social contracts are crucial," says RSM MSc student Denis Ceric, who researched citizen engagement in urban platforms in Rotterdam, Munich, and Barcelona. He says that before cities can encourage citizen engagement, their urban data platforms must first define the role of citizens and their understanding of ideas such as data ownership and privacy.


Mobility Providers Share Critical Data


Ford Motor Company and the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have made an unprecedented commitment to SharedStreets<>, a new data platform that makes it easier for the private sector to work with cities and leverage data to improve urban mobility.


For the first time, the platform overcomes long-standing legal, regulatory and technological barriers between the public and private sectors by converting today’s ad hoc, disparate transportation data sources into a mutually readable, shared, global standard.


Already operating in over 30 cities around the world, the SharedStreets platform provides city leaders with far-reaching new instruments for managing transportation networks.



The public-private partnership is the result of a collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Open Transport Partnership and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the consortium behind the SharedStreets data platform.


This collaborative effort to build 21st-century streets was announced by Jim Hackett, Ford CEO; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, and John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft, on September 26 at the second annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City.


The partnership gives mayors unparalleled access to road traffic data, allowing them to make better planning and investment decisions as shared and autonomous mobility arrive in their cities.


The agreement also fills a long-missing link for mobility companies by providing a common standard for sharing data across all cities, where local requirements vary widely.


Launched earlier this year with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, SharedStreets is a universal data language for sharing information about city streets and a launching pad for public-private collaboration to manage streets, reduce traffic deaths, and prepare cities for the unprecedented technological advancement emerging in cities.


NACTO, representing 74 cities and transit agencies across North America, and global cities from Paris to Melbourne, formally endorsed the data sharing policies of SharedStreets, committing to working collaboratively with the private sector.


For their part, Uber and Lyft will release vehicle speed data from cities around the world. With this data, cities can identify exactly where people are speeding or driving dangerously, so that they can redesign streets and save lives.


Uber will include this speed data in an update of its open-source tool, providing cities everywhere with innovative new tools for data visualization and information sharing.


"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for business and government to work together to rethink transportation," said Hackett of Ford. "Collaborating through initiatives such as Shared Streets will enable us to use vehicles, road systems and data together to create a new roadmap for mobility.


"The private and public sectors need to come together and collaborate on ways to create smarter, safer and more efficient transportation systems," said Uber's Khosrowshahi. "It’s the responsibility of companies like ours to step up and support cities in every way we can—whether that’s through data sharing, urban planning research, funding for nonprofits, or even through the introduction of new and more efficient forms of transportation like electric bicycles."


"Lyft is in a unique position to drive positive change within our cities, and we take that responsibility seriously" said Lyft's Zimmer. "We look forward to collaborating with regulators to expand affordable mobility options, taking cars off the road and reducing congestion, and ultimately reshaping cities around people - not cars."


Michael Bloomberg said, "Ride-share and auto companies have been gathering an enormous amount of data on transportation and traffic. Now, cities will be able use it to find new ways to manage congestion, reduce carbon emissions, prevent traffic crashes, and prepare for the arrival of autonomous vehicles."


5G, the Key to Smart Cities


Fast download speeds are just the start, as the fifth-generation wireless network can put smart city transformation into overdrive.


The next big leap in telecommunications, 5G performance targets include high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity.


T-Mobile US has plans to build 5G networks in 30 cities this year and launch those commercially in 2019.


"5G is a big leap in wireless communications that will open up a world in which everything can communicate with each other," says Channa Seneviratne, executive director of network infrastructure engineering at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company.


Seneviratne says 5G is fundamental to autonomous vehicles because, "AVs will be able to connect with everything around them such as traffic lights, road signs and wearables, and make better safety decisions as a result."


She says 5G networks will "bring the smart city to life."


First U.S. Test of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X)


Panasonic, Qualcomm Technologies and Ford this summer joined forces to put Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies to the test.


This new cellular technology is designed to connect vehicles to each other, to roadside infrastructure, to other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, and to cloud-based services.


C-V2X technology is being installed in cars and on roads in Panasonic's CityNOW headquarters in Denver, Colorado to test its range and reliability - the first deployment of the technology in the United States.


"The state of Colorado has been focused on the rapid deployment of connected vehicle technology to advance safety and are encouraged by the progression of C-V2X," said Michael Lewis, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).


A second deployment of C-V2X technology is planned for stretches of the I-70 Mountain Corridor later in the year. That section of I-70 is often jammed as the region's population grows, especially in the winter months because it links Denver with popular ski slopes.


Field validations are currently underway using the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset, including Audi in Germany, PSA in France, Ford in the United States, and Nissan in Japan.



On the assembly line at a factory owned by Groupe PSA, a French multinational manufacturer of automobiles
and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands.
(Photo courtesy PSA Groupe) Posted for media use



"C-V2X is core to Ford’s vision for the future of transportation and we believe strongly in its potential when integrated with Denver’s smart city initiatives," said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle Platform & Product, Ford Motor Company. "Initial field test results demonstrate that C-V2X is the clear choice for the global solution for V2X and the deployment of C-V2X in Colorado will further support this."


In June 2017, a collaboration of telecommunications standards associations known as 3GPP completed the standardization of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.


C-V2X defines two transmission modes that, together, enable a broad range of uses. Direct C-V2X, which includes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P), provides enhanced communication range and reliability in dedicated ITS 5.9 GHz spectrum that is independent of a cellular network.


The second transmission mode is network communications (V2N) in the traditional mobile broadband licensed spectrum.


C-V2X is designed to be globally compatible with 5G and complement other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar and Light Detection and Radar (LIDAR). C-V2X also leverages the robust security built into cellular networks.


"In the 5G era, C-V2X will be able to support a range of advanced safety services, including very precise positioning and ranging to enable cooperative and automated driving, the delivery of local, dynamic maps based on camera and sensor data, and the very low latency connectivity necessary to enable high-density platooning," according to a new report from the GSMA, the Global System for Mobile Communications, a trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide.


The report, "Enabling Intelligent Transport," <> says C-V2X will enable drivers to benefit from a wide range of compelling services, including pay-as-you drive insurance, vehicle diagnostics, eCall and connected infotainment, as well as an array of safety features.


The GSMA report finds that harnessing the existing cellular infrastructure reduces the amount of roadside infrastructure that needs to be installed and maintained by municipalities and highway agencies in both urban and rural areas.


"China is on course to be one of the first countries to deploy C-V2X, while some European countries are also likely to be in the vanguard of adoption," the GSMA reports.


Propelling this quickly evolving movement, all these Smart City and mobility experts and many thousands more around the world are joining Ford CEO Jim Hackett in his ambition to work "toward a future where all cities are smart."



By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

October 3, 2018