Smart Transport - how to enable intelligent mobility
In my role as Technical Director of Amey Consulting’s Intelligent Mobility team, I recently delivered a webinar to the Zigurat Global Institute of Technology on an introduction to smart transport, as part of Smart Cities.
Smart transport is made up of three things; smart vehicles, smart infrastructure and data & services. Smart vehicles range from autonomous vehicles and trams to high-speed trains and hyperloops, whilst smart infrastructure includes things like self-repairing roads, sensorized tracks and bridges and connected cycle ways. Data & services unlock the true potential of these elements, enabling truly connected infrastructure and vehicles and, ultimately, better services for customers. Live data enables on-demand services, either in terms of repairs made based on live data, showing assets deteriorating, or as a result of live vehicle locations in relation to potential passengers. Combining infrastructure, vehicles, data and services is central to the future of efficient and effective transport networks, enabling truly intelligent mobility solutions.
Amey Consulting’s Intelligent Mobility team has the skills and expertise to deliver smart transport for the future. Intelligent mobility is fundamentally about optimising the movements of people and goods. The vision of Amey Consulting’s Intelligent Mobility team is to shape the future of transport by providing sustainable, efficient and safe intelligent mobility solutions. Our focus is on the following areas:
- Cleaner transport
- Connected and Automated Mobility
- Connected Highways (C-ITS)
- Data Analysis & Integration
- Advisory & Consulting Services
We seek to bring intelligent mobility and new transport solutions to life, utilising our core infrastructure network expertise to drive sustainable change - creating better places to live, work and travel. In the webinar, I focused on some really interesting case studies which demonstrate the importance of intelligent mobility to our clients. For example, the work we have done for Highways England as part of the Smart Motorways programme is a great example of mobility in action.
Smart Motorways relieve congestion by making the hard shoulder available for use by traffic. On some smart motorways the hard shoulder is opened at busy times. On others it is permanently converted into a traffic lane (known as all-lane running). Regularly spaced refuge areas are used for emergencies. The use of data is key in being able to open and close lanes, demonstrating the importance of connected infrastructure in managing mobility networks.
I also talked about the rise of passenger drones as part of the urban mobility mix, referencing City Airbus, an all-electric, four-seat, multicopter vehicle demonstrator that focuses on advancing remotely piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flight. The CityAirbus full-scale demonstrator conducted its first take-off in May 2019. It has flown more than 100 test flights.
Each of these projects are interesting but can only deliver the benefits of seamless mobility through being offered as part of a larger connected mobility network. To unlock the benefits of this requires, a detailed feasibility study to understand demand for local travel; the right mix of mobility solutions to meet this demand; the infrastructure required to support these services; and the overarching business case to make the case for investment. The Intelligent Mobility team is experienced in this area, having recently delivered a feasibility study for Staffordshire County Council.
There are so many exciting opportunities emerging as part of the future of mobility, all of which are key to the services Amey provides in the future. If you’d like to know more about what we are doing in this field, get in contact.