5 urban mobility innovations for large cities

With growth in the urban population, traffic congestion, air pollution, and the need for more environmentally responsible mobility solutions, a number of technologies have emerged to address these challenges. In this article, we outline some of the key mobility innovations that city authorities and companies in major cities have turned to in order to improve citizens’ quality of life and move towards more sustainable smart cities.

1. Electric vehicles

People are increasingly concerned about their impact on the planet, and this environmental awareness has the reduction of carbon emissions in large cities among its main objectives. This is where innovations such as electric vehicles play an important role in urban mobility, especially following the implementation of strategies such as Low Emission Zones in several cities with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the use of cleaner technologies in urban transportation.

Although the infrastructure required for their use remains a challenge, more and more research is being done on how to install and manage charging areas for electric vehicles in cities. In this context, it would be useful and easy to adapt smart parking solutions already in place in many cities to enable drivers to rapidly locate not only parking spots but also available charging stations.

Similarly, in recent years there has been talk of autonomous vehicles equipped with sensors and real-time navigation systems such as those mentioned above that can revolutionize urban mobility, improving traffic efficiency by reducing accidents and optimizing vehicle flow. Countries such as Singapore and the United States are already conducting trials in controlled environments to see how they can be safely brought into cities.

2. Micro-mobility

As a result of this environmental awareness, micro-mobility has also emerged in connection with the use of small and light forms of personal transportation such as scooters, bicycles, and electric scooters. These forms of transportation are perfect for short distances and are a fast and ecological way to move around the city, with silent operation to reduce both environmental and noise pollution. Micromobility has been gaining popularity in major cities around the world thanks to companies that facilitate its use through location and booking applications.

Cities are preparing more and more spaces for this type of transportation, thus offering users a more environmentally friendly alternative with which to move around the city center with ease. In this transition towards more sustainable mobility, some cities have set up Park&Ride smart parking areas at strategic points on the outskirts, with good connections to the city center. This allows users to park their personal vehicles in the outskirts and conveniently travel around without worrying about traffic or the availability of parking.

3. Shared mobility

The rise of platforms such as Uber, Bolt, and BlaBlaCar has encouraged the use of car sharing. With this, users can book and share short- or long-distance trips, thus helping to reduce the number of vehicles on urban roads.

Efficient management of these services is achieved through advanced technologies that analyze real-time data to connect drivers and users through mobile applications. They offer users convenience and flexibility and optimize the use of transportation resources.

4. Smart infrastructures

Cities have been implementing smart infrastructures consisting of innovative technologies capable of optimizing traffic and improving safety on urban roads. Some of these smart systems are equipped with sensors that monitor vehicle flow in real time to detect congestion and direct traffic to less busy areas through signage panels. Other systems have algorithms based on artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning that detect parking occupancy with technologies that process images taken by compatible cameras, facilitating the search for free parking. Cities such as Barcelona and Amsterdam have already implemented smart infrastructures as part of their efforts to optimize urban mobility.

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U-Spot VISIO: A.I. Single-spot detection

The space-by-space detection software uses Artificial Intelligence to detect the entry and exit of vehicles in each parking space in real time.
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5. Urban Distribution of Goods

Optimizing the handling of the delivery or collection of goods in cities is also a factor to be considered in improving urban mobility. In addition to the use of smart lockers or aerial alternatives such as drones, which are still in the testing phase, smart monitoring systems for loading areas have proven to be useful solutions to address this issue.

These smart monitoring systems make it easier to locate spots reserved specifically for delivery drivers, helping to optimize travel times and avoid lengthy searches and double-parking that can block traffic on the streets. Allowing efficient goods delivery improves traffic flow and reduces operational costs for logistics and transportation companies, while optimizing the management of their resources.

Furthermore, by avoiding congestion in loading and unloading areas, these smart systems help to reduce the risk of accidents caused by abrupt parking maneuvers.

At Urbiotica, we know that innovations in urban mobility are changing the way we move around large cities and that smart parking solutions are able to offer more efficient management: from technologies for guidance in city centers through sensors and signage panels to monitoring parking spaces reserved for loading. As these innovative technologies continue to evolve and be applied to other areas, we will see even greater changes in urban mobility in the cities of the future.

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