Delegates from a wide spectrum of sectors attended the 2-day Conference on “Smart & Safe Mobility in Sustainable Cities” held on January 7-8. Prominent delegates included those from the Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Transport Corporation, Municipal Corporations like Bhopal and New Delhi Municipal Council, Public Works Departments, City Development corporations, infrastructure companies, traffic consultants and other traffic related organisations.
For cities to be sustainable, they have to be smart. The Conference themes had been carefully chosen to explore the solutions from the diverse sectors that are necessary for building a sustainable transportation network in smart cities. The session on “New Mobility” discussed the role of Connected Vehicles in improving automobile &passenger safety, in training public transport drivers, vehicle tracking and fleet management and the use of smart phones and apps in giving drivers a seamless experience in entertainment & communication. A special address on Mass Transport, while outlining the benefits of Metro Rail in reducing traffic congestion and accidents, gave interesting insights on how it also improves the health of commuters, gives them more time to spend with their families and results in less stress. The session on Automated Driving and Automated Cars dwelled on how the latest technologies in road safety and traffic management are expected to give concrete shape to autonomous driving in a decade’s time.
There is the need for standards to be followed by the new vehicles and technologies while implementing the new systems. This, and how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can help in traffic monitoring and road safety were discussed and debated in the session on “Safe Cities: Regulations, Enforcement, Suitability of Vehicles and Infrastructure”. The session on “Intelligent Transportation Systems” gave insights on the critical role that ITS plays in predictive urban traffic management, better planning of public transport and video detection solutions. The session on exciting field of Telematics – the merger of informatics and telecommunication – discussed geo-spatial applications for vehicle tracking, the latest global technologies in VTS and automated traffic guidance.
An important consideration in building smart cities is to tackle design and management. Two panel discussions – one on Public Parking and the other on Mall Parking saw participation from the government sector as well as various solution providers. The sessions generated interesting interactions and debates.