SmartMobiity_PP_headimage

IoT for Smart Mobility

A quick guide to smart mobility_cover art
Get a Copy

What is smart mobility?

Smart mobility refers to anything that acts as transportation and has connectivity features. Ride-share scooters available in most major cities, which can be unlocked and paid for through an app and a QR code, are an example of smart mobility.

Autonomous vehicles also fall under the smart mobility umbrella, as do many transportation options that have appeared in the last few years. However, smart mobility encompasses more than just vehicles. Traffic lights, roads, and other components of transportation systems can all benefit from smart mobility.

Bringing smart technology to the transportation sector will help solve problems surrounding air quality, pollution, water quality, sustainability, and of course, road safety.

How challenging is it to make transportation and mobility truly smart?

While the future of sustainable smart mobility solutions is a bright one, it’s not without its challenges. Below are some of the key obstacles that will need to overcome to bring connectivity to the transportation industry.

IoT is the basis for smart mobility

IoT is the foundation of smart mobility solutions. It will help realise the future of smart transportation in the city and beyond, using its advancements to further the vision of smart mobility.

The Internet of Things has already helped pioneer solutions like low-power, low-data networking, platforms that can manage thousands of connected devices, eSIM cards, and other innovations. Asset tracking in IoT also overlaps with the needs of smart mobility, making it a transferable solution.

You can track and monitor many aspects of smart mobility and transportation the same way you can track shipments or inventory with IoT sensors, LPWAN systems, or eSIM cards. For example, you can use LPWAN technology in camera systems across a city. Because LPWAN is low power, it consumes less energy than hardwired solutions. And LPWAN is wireless, so there’s no need to physically link all the cameras in a system together, simply install, turn them on, and you’re already connected.

Deploying IoT-enabled smart mobility devices will vary from one location to the next. No two cities are the same, with varying weather, traffic, and infrastructure conditions. For example, in Reykjavik, Iceland, the city implemented a system that uses smart cameras, satellite connectivity, vehicle sensors, and connected traffic lights at intersections to give priority to emergency vehicles and public transport vehicles. These technologies combine to automatically turn traffic lights green for ambulances, fire trucks, and buses. Once these specific vehicles pass through these smart intersections, the light cycles return to normal.

Different locations will have different needs. A city that experiences heavy snow or ice storms may want to consider a smart traffic management system that can implement variable speed limits based on weather and road conditions. Areas with particularly bad air pollution can benefit from synced, ‘green wave’ traffic lights that reduce the number of times vehicles sit at red lights.

Thankfully, prepping a fleet of devices for a specific location is a challenge that IoT has already met and resolved, providing plenty of inspiration for the smart transportation sector.   

Examples of smart mobility

To provide insight into the future of smart mobility, we’ve curated key examples of smart mobility technology that are available today or are currently under development. We’ll explore how each of these solutions uses connectivity, the challenges it poses, and the opportunities it presents.

Deploying smart public transportation

Smart public transportation is undoubtedly one of the most transformative items on this list. It encompasses smart vehicles, motorways, automated trains, traffic lights, and more. Each of these vehicles/devices will benefit from connectivity. Expect to see smart public transportation lead to increased data collection and fewer accidents.

Technology like this is already in the field. Automated cameras sit at traffic lights to catch red-light runners. Traffic light cameras use machine learning and connectivity to identify cars, cross-check vehicle registration with police databases, and send relevant information to law enforcement.

We already see automated toll roads working in a similar way to traffic cameras. Instead of needing to stop to pay a toll to a stationed staff member, drivers can simply drive down a road and pay electronically. Some systems charge customers with an electronic transponder in their vehicles and some use cameras to capture number plate details and toll road users receive a bill in the mail.

And traffic signal timing relies on smart technology to reduce time spent waiting by drivers. Machine learning helps coordinate traffic light timing and sends data to a server which then controls all the traffic lights in a certain radius, creating a ‘green wave’ and letting cars keep their momentum while travelling. This kind of smart, connected traffic light can be found worldwide including in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Vienna, and San Francisco. Green wave systems help reduce congestion, shorten journeys, and reduce time spent stopped at red lights which, in turn, reduces petrol consumption and CO2 emissions.

Smart motorways bring all of these technologies together. Smart motorways use cameras and sensors to send data back to servers that then change certain rules on a stretch of motorway to help alleviate traffic. Some of these measures can include opening or closing lanes to traffic or setting variable speed limits to help control the traffic flow. Smart motorways can be found throughout the United Kingdom and are intended to increase motorway safety.

Deploying electric vehicles

Of course, a conversation about smart mobility can’t occur without mentioning electric vehicles (EVs). EVs encompass hybrid and fully-electric vehicles, as opposed to traditional combustion engine cars.

Electric vehicles have already caught on with the mainstream, and lowering prices are ramping up their popularity. These vehicles are designed to reduce the environmental footprint created by drivers, and most feature a handful of smart features, like automated parking and driving along motorways.

Building an electric vehicle ecosystem

The biggest challenge for electric vehicles is the lack of infrastructure support. For EVs to fully integrate, we will need to further develop EV ecosystems. That means standardising charging methods and stations, optimising roadways, and overhauling and updating ageing electrical grids.

Deploying more electric vehicles also gives us the opportunity to rethink how we can keep up with increased energy demands. Looking to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and tidal farms will help improve the EV infrastructure by incentivising electrical grids to expand and modernise their infrastructure.

Deploying eScooters

Another popular form of an electric vehicle is the eScooter. Short for electric scooters, these vehicles have taken over metropolitan areas worldwide. While eScooters do exist for private use, today's more popular option is ride-sharing eScooters.

These ride-sharing vehicles are available for use with nothing more than a smartphone app. By scanning the QR code on the scooter and paying a fee, the rider can unlock the scooter and travel a city faster than walking, cheaper than driving, and without polluting the environment.

eScooters are one of the most popular forms of micro-mobility, a last-mile form of transportation. They are intended to help riders cover a short distance in a short amount of time rather than acting as a car replacement. Electric bikes, skateboards, and one-wheel vehicles are other examples of micro-mobility devices.

The need for secure data

When it comes to devices like eScooters, one of the most important factors to consider is data security. Like any IoT device, eScooters are in the public space. This makes them susceptible to theft.

To prevent this from happening, businesses should use predictive analytics to collect device ‘behavioural’ data and detect any abnormalities that could suggest a theft has occurred. And devices that are connected can be easily tracked and potentially retrieved if they happen to go astray, maliciously or otherwise. 

The future of autonomous vehicles

One of the most exciting smart mobility advancements is the autonomous vehicle. Though the technology isn’t quite there yet, we get closer and closer to a fully-autonomous reality each year.

Autonomous, or self-driving vehicles, are expected greatly improve road safety. They

This will create far safer roads, making traffic accidents, congestion, and unproductive hours behind the wheel a thing of the past.

The challenge of autonomous vehicles remains accounting for edge cases. There are nearly infinite edge cases involved with autonomous driving, and it will take several more years before these can be safely considered.

The benefits of smart mobility

Sustainability

A core benefit of smart mobility is sustainability. It will allow us to optimise traffic, reduce the carbon footprint of transport, and increase the longevity of vehicles through ride-sharing services.

Automation

Automation is another key benefit of smart mobility. Automation has the potential to make our roads safer, more accessible to disabled persons, reduce traffic times, and allow passengers to spend time in a vehicle doing work or recreational activities rather than driving.

Road safety

And, of course, road safety is a critical benefit of smart mobility. It can nearly eliminate traffic accidents, saving thousands of lives each year.

Deploy smart mobility solutions globally with JT IoT

JT IoT has provided businesses with cutting-edge IoT solutions for customers all over the world, and our experts are prepared to support the needs of smart mobility projects of any size.

Thanks to our global network, you’ll be able to safely deploy smart mobility solutions around the world and reduce the price and technical complexity of reproducing the solution for different cities and locations. Coupled with our powerful Connectivity Management Platform, our solution can give suppliers a complete overview of the data and location usage needed to optimise urban mobility and traffic.

Use JT IoT's Connectivity for Smart Mobility

Global resilient connectivity

With 500+ roaming agreements in over 210 countries and territories, JT IoT has the best in class global network coverage. This means that your smart mobility solutions will work anywhere in the world, without the need for your business to search for local suppliers at every deployment location.

Flexible technical approach

Our connectivity comes in all SIM form factors: Standard SIM (2FF), Micro SIM (3FF), Nano-SIM (4FF), QFN8/MFF2 embedded chips, as well as eSIM for remote network profile provisioning. We specialise in giving access to regions with roaming restrictions and offer a free starter kit to test before committing to our product.

Advanced data analytics

For advanced connectivity analytics, we offer our Nomad Connectivity Management Platform. As with all smart mobility projects, it is necessary to have a complete overview of all connected devices and the amount of data usage they have. Our platform gives not only control over the SIM estate connectivity, network preferences and data limits on a global scale but also provides you with a consolidated overview of the usage, patterns and, naturally, the invoice for your devices. 

A secure solution for the modern user

Keep track of the number of deployed devices and their locations via our platform. Monitor all asset identification keys and get a notification if any fails to authenticate or connect to the network. Build a behavioural pattern and observe if devices deviate from the norm to identify risk. Segment your device network access rights and secure your fleet on a single-device level. 

Reach out today to learn more about tracking with cellular connectivity and how it can help your business grows with actionable data. Fill in the form below to speak with one of our experts about what you need for your next smart mobility project.

Jump To Section:

Download an offline copy:

Smart Mobility Quick Guide
SmartMobiity_PP_headimage

Speak to an Expert