Shenzhen, China May 22, 2013]: The progressive integration of information and communications technology with big data and real time traffic information systems will make travel and the transportation of people and the transportation of goods faster, safer and cheaper by 2025. This is one of the key findings from a new research report from the World Economic Forum entitled Connected World: Transforming Travel, Transportation and Supply Chains.
Achieving this vision will require multiple stakeholders – from central and local government, vehicle manufacturers, public transport operators, logistics companies and the ICT and other industries to better collaborate, says the report from the World Economic Forum supported by Huawei, Audi and the Boston Consulting Group, among others.
"Once we fully integrate the information and communication technology systems managing different modes of transportation, we will gain real-time end-to-end information that makes transportation more convenient, controllable and cost-efficient", says Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO of Huawei.
Commenting on four potential future transport solutions identified in the report, John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum, said: "Each of these solutions enables a transformation in global transportation systems that would drive economic growth and improve our daily lives. Each solution is entirely achievable. The technology is readily available; the main challenge is coordinating diverse stakeholders from multiple industries and government agencies."
Smart devices in vehicles will communicate directly with roadside infrastructure over wireless connections. Drivers will get real time information about traffic conditions and advance warning of problems delivered directly to their mobile devices. Travellers will be able to access recommendations on alternative routes or modes of transport to take in the event of unforeseen circumstances affecting travel schedules. This real time information delivered to mobile devices will reduce the time lost because of disrupted travel plans.
The technology will be interactive and intelligent, capable of automatically re-booking tickets or re-scheduling business meetings in the event that transport disruption requires travellers need to change their plans. Such real time data from across multiple transport modes – by road, sea, rail and air - will create intelligent, integrated transportation systems that benefit from reduced congestion, better utilization of different transport types and lower CO2 emissions. These innovations will be key to keeping more people moving - by 2025, it is estimated that the world’s population will have grown by a further one billion people, putting further pressure on transport systems.
Early evidence of future benefits
When traffic volumes on the roads in Langfang, a small city near Beijing, reached one million and began to grow ten times faster than the growth of the city’s road network (30% versus 3% per year), Huawei and the Langfang Traffic Police implemented an ICT technology solution that integrated traffic flow controls and traffic guidance announcements with global positioning systems and video surveillance. After two months of operation, the solution had reduced morning and evening peak traffic time by 30% (from one hour to 40 minutes) thanks to a significant reduction in traffic violations and accidents which improved traffic flows through and around the city.
Huawei believes the benefits of applying intelligent IT systems to road travel in Langfang points to the scale of improvements that can be achieved in transportation. The cost of implementing such solutions will be a fraction of the cost of expanding and upgrading today’s physical infrastructure, creating tangible environmental and other benefits for societies and businesses around the world.
*The four proposed solutions, all of which have the potential to deliver solid social and economic benefits, are:
- The Integrated Proactive Intermodal Travel Assistant, enabling travellers to use one ticket per journey, regardless of the mode of transport, and providing real-time advice on congestion and route-change options.
- Condition-based Megacity Traffic Management System, integrating and processing information from vehicles, travel infrastructure, individuals and the environment in real time to forecast and counteract congestion and reduce total vehicle emissions.
- Fully Automated Check-in, Security and Border Control/Smart Visa, harnessing technology such as biometric identification, real-time risk classification of passengers, improved full body and luggage scanners and electronic visa procedures to improve efficiency and security.
- Tracking and Transparency-based Logistics Optimizer, using RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips to provide supply-chain management assistance in the form of real-time updates on products’ attributes, condition and carbon footprint.