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Three smart transportation case studies

Smart transportation, a key internet of things vertical application, refers to the integrated application of modern technologies and management strategies in transportation systems. These technologies can provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable users to be better informed and make safer and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks. Let’s look at how smart transportation is being leveraged around the world to ease traffic congestion and bring efficiencies to transportation networks.

Traffic management in Dallas, Texas

The city of Dallas, Texas, has tapped Ericsson’s Connected Urban Transport suite to help add automation and responsiveness to the city’s traffic management system, as well as providing data analysis, monitoring and management tools in an effort to continuously add efficiency to the way the city manages its transport networks as well as reduce congestion and improve traffic flow for motorists.

The city’s Chief Information Officer William Finch painted this focus on smart traffic management as part of broader smart city goals built on “making data actionable…It is from this technology that we will derive more robust data, that leads to greater business intelligence, which in turn enhances our application.”

According to Ericsson, the smart traffic management solution includes a collaborative “ecosystem to share data and system services;” a unified dashboard available to multiple government departments; KPI tracking; and automation features “where one system can trigger or notify another system when thresholds are violated–for faster responses and reduced workload.”

Ericsson Head of IoT Jeff Travers said quality of traffic management “is a major factor in business and industry investment decisions. The Dallas metroplex is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Our Connect[ed] Urban Transport solution will enable the city to manage growing traffic and increase driver safety more efficiently and at lower cost.”

Truck platooning in Michigan

Peloton Technology, a developer of connected and automated vehicle systems for U.S. and global freight carriers, conducted a live demonstration of driver-assistive truck platooning in Michigan last month. The demonstration, which took place on I-96 in the Novi area, and was made possible through a collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State Police, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The company said the demo featured a pair of Peloton-equipped Volvo VNL670 class 8 trucks platooning at approximately 65 feet allowing participants to experience how this semi-automated and connected vehicle technology, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, assists drivers in a real-world setting.

Peloton said this demonstration in Michigan represented a key step towards commercial deployment of the Peloton platooning system, which is expected to occur during 2018.

“Michigan has been a national leader in the legislative approval of connected and automated vehicles so we were excited to demonstrate the Peloton truck platooning system in the Detroit area as a stepping stone towards commercial deployment within the state” said Steve Boyd, Peloton co-founder and VP of external affairs. “We look forward to our ongoing work with the State of Michigan and industry partners across the region as we bring driver-assistive truck platooning into commercial deployment.”

Railway management in Germany

German company Telent will supply compatriot railway company Deutsche Bahn with smart multi-channel measurement systems, which will be implement at around 7,000 points over the next three years. Telent said its IoT solution detects potential defects in the railway infrastructure before they arise. That is made possible by central remote monitoring of the point machines. Telent’s project partner is the Dutch company Strukton Systems, whose multi-channel measurement systems measure, digitize and process the relevant data.

Deutsche Bahn aims to implement predictive maintenance tools to be able to control its points.To enable that, the current pulse at the connection cable to the point is measured in the signal box. Special sensors also record status data, which is then analyzed centrally, at relevant parts of the point controller. Possible deviations from the reference value, such as occur before faults arise, are detected by smart systems at an early stage. Once this occurs, service teams can then inspect the affected parts more closely on site and  replace them if necessary so that operations are not disrupted.

The agreement between Telent and Deutsche Bahn comprises system components, planning services, installation and commissioning of the solution, which monitors a total of around 7,000 point machines at 305 operating control points throughout Germany.

“Telent has been a reliable partner to Deutsche Bahn AG in the telecommunications segment for many years and has demonstrated its strength as part of nationwide rollouts, in particular. We’re delighted at continuing our working relationship,” says Dirk Bernhardt, head of purchasing for telecommunications infrastructure, train marshaling yards and equipment at Deutsche Bahn.

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