I am very pleased and honored to have joined the Smart Cities Team at IDC, a true, if not the first, global industry leader in smart city thought development and advisory. As a certified urban planner, I have always held a profound love for cities, and in particular, transportation—transportation to and within cities—from subways connecting one neighborhood to another to airlines connecting cities to each other. I have had the privilege in my career to work on many interesting projects over the years, from investigating the legal and investment environment for transport infrastructure in Tanzania to developing an urban rail security program in Qatar to assessing the feasibility of personal rapid transit in California, along with many inspiring engagements in between. (My full profile can be found here.)
Innovation in transportation never ceases. One hundred years ago, automobiles, electric railways, and airplanes were in their infancy. Today, we are contemplating driverless cars, vehicles connected to everything around them, drones flying around our cities delivering packages and surveying skyscraper exteriors, and people traveling in tubes between cities at 700 mph (on board the Hyperloop). Meanwhile, cities themselves are getting smarter with greater connectivity with technological innovation, transforming their physical design and services, and how people live and interact within them.
So while there is much ground to cover—no pun intended—in the field of smart cities and transportation, it is my intention to focus on emerging technologies with the highest potential to impact urban life and development. For 2017, planned research areas include:
- Mass transit: an examination of the latest developments in mobile apps for multi-modal urban movement, an analysis of emerging technologies in transit security, and a study of global best practices in intermodal transit hubs;
- Cars and roadways: smart parking systems and their applications in improving urban life and a review of leading vendors, the state of smart traffic signaling and the benefits to cities, several studies on the sharing economy within urban transportation to cover trends, benefits, and policy implications; a global survey of autonomous vehicle pilots and the state of the industry; and a briefing on V2X applications in cities and predictions on the connected car for the years ahead;
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: possibilities for urban applications and current trends in regulatory action; and,
- A market assessment of leading vendors across all modes of urban mobility of the latest technologies, capabilities, and strategies.
It will be a busy, but exciting year, not only in research but as smart transportation actually transforms our cities and our lives within them. Please feel free to reach out or comment if there’s a particular issue, idea, or concept you would like studied or discussed.