Using Connected Car Data for Smart Urban Planning

INRIX Population Analytics

(1) Problem

Primary category is Mobility, but application also touches Public Administration & Services, and Health & Safety. Perspective is city mayor’s office.

(2) Summary

  • INRIX, Inc. of Seattle (WA) developed and launched a platform that integrates location data collected from connected cars and personal devices to analyze movement of people, vehicles and commerce
  • The platform leverages readily-available real-time geocoded GPS data from a large number of sources that are distributed fairly evenly across cities (e.g., taxis)
  • These data can be used, for example, to make transit systems more efficient, site new business, and measure marketing campaign results
  • The platform provides data visualizations that facilitates quick and easy assessment of traffic controls and roadway performance
  • The overwhelming volume of available data provides an accurate picture of actual population movements, thereby minimizing reliance on road-side counters and automated traffic records

Garthwaite, E. 2015. INRIX launches smart cities platform to exploit connected cars. ITProPortal, courtesy of 24N.biz. Posted 05-Jul-2015 at http://www.itproportal.com/2015/05/07/inrix-launches-smart-cities-platform-exploit-connected-cars/

(3) Stakeholders

  • Transportation department
  • Sustainability department
  • Business development incubators
  • Lending institutions/ risk managers

(4) Deployment

  • Create consortia of city agencies to brainstorm specific benefits of this platform
  • Provide public access to data visualization
  • Monitor and measure performance of transit systems; identify and correct bottlenecks
  • Gather performance data from businesses that utilize the platform to increase sales, and leverage those results into wider deployment
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New and Improved Option for In-City Deliveries

electric truck

(1) Problem

Category is Mobility. Perspective is city’s transportation department on behalf of mayor’s office.

City truck traffic accounts for tremendous air and noise pollution. EPA estimates that truck traffic accounts for 20% of GHG in the transportation sector, though they comprise only 5% of vehicles on the road. Truck pollution disrupts ecosystems, contributes to municipal CO2 footprints, and reduces quality of life.

(2) Summary

  • BMW Group and SCHERM developed and deployed the first all-electric tractor-trailer in Munich, Germany
  • The truck itself generates almost zero CO2 emission, air pollution, or noise pollution
  • Charging generates 11.8 tCO2e fewer per year than a standard diesel engine truck
  • The truck can run 60 miles per charge, which is sufficient for virtually all intra-city needs
  • Less noise and lower emissions will also make a city more attractive for residents; thus, strategically, better positioned for economic growth
  • This also represents the next step toward self-guided delivery vehicles connected to the grid for real-time data transfer

Phillips, A. 2015. “This 100 Percent Electric Eighteen-Wheeler Just Hit The Road In Germany.” ThinkProgress. Posted July 9, 2015.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/09/3678546/all-electric-big-rig-truck-hits-the-road-in-germany/

(3) Stakeholders

  • Transportation department
  • Sustainability department
  • Unions/ delivery companies
  • Logistics companies (e.g., FedEx)

(4) Deployment

  • Closely monitor results from Munich
  • Gradually replace the city’s fleet with electric trucks
  • Use pending EPA programs to incentivize delivery companies, unions, and logistics companies to transition to electric trucks

The Miracle of Solar Roadways

Parking lot east

(1) Problem

Categories are Energy and Mobility.  Perspective is city’s planning department on behalf of mayor’s office.

Many US cities are dependent on conventional power generation technologies (e.g., coal, hydro) that directly cause environmental damage (e.g., GHG emissions, ecosystem degradation).  Additionally, because of heavy traffic in dense population centers, roadway infrastructure requires continual repair, which is expensive and disruptive.

(2) Summary

  • Solar Roadways of Sandpoint, Idaho developed solar panels that purportedly can replace any and all pavement (e.g., roads, driveways, parking lots, and patios) while generating carbon-free electricity — up to 1,000 W from just dozen(s) of square yards
  • The miracle panels:
    • heat themselves, which prevents snow and ice from accumulating and thus, require much less maintenance
    • light themselves with (programmable) road markings, and can sense and indicate when animals are on the road, which enhances safety
    • are manufactured primarily from recycled materials, and are much stronger (and this will last longer) than conventional asphalt and concrete
  • US DOT funded $1M pilot, then $2.25M in start-up capital was crowd-sourced
  • Intense controversy surrounding the technology’s efficacy

Speed, B. 2015.  The great “solar freakin’ roadways” debate.  CityMetric — an online affiliate of the New Statesman, London.  Posted May 20, 2015.

website for Solar Roadways

(3) Stakeholders

  • Strategic planning department
  • City energy department
  • Roadway department
  • Sustainability department

(4) Deployment

  • Cobble together budget funds from energy department, roadway department, sustainability department, (strategic) planning department
  • Scrutinize available results to assess if the technology is bs; follow-up with cost-benefit analysis
  • Identify a low-safety-risk area to pilot test the technology, such as a flat, very-low-speed parking area (Sandpoint, Idaho has several projects ready to go)
  • Train roadway maintenance department install and maintain new pavement technology

Harnessing Hydropower from Urban Water Pipes

(1) Problem

Category is Energy. Most conventional power generation results in environmental damage (e.g., CO2 emissions), including conventional hydro power because it disrupts ecosystems.

(2) Summary

  • Ludic Energy in Portland, Oregon developed a hydroelectric turbine for installation in existing water lines
  • Uses gravity flow in existing pipes — energy that is otherwise wasted — without disrupting or harming potable water supply
  • No impact to ecosystem; no CO2 emissions or waste generation during operation

Gewin, V. 2015. Harnessing Hydropower from Urban Water Pipes: Gregg Semler Turns Tiny Turbines Into Mighty Generators. Popular Science. Posted May 19, 2015.

http://www.popsci.com/gregg-semler-turns-tiny-turbines-mighty-generators

http://www.lucidenergy.com

(3) Stakeholders

  • Civic energy management leaders to champion initiative
  • Existing utility companies for water and electricity to facilitate integration
  • Contractors and/ or vendors to install and manage system
  • Residential and/ or commercial customers to receive and use electricity

4) Deployment

  • Create partnership between technology owner, water utility, power utility, and lending institutions to share costs and revenues
  • Identify existing water lines that need repair
  • Install technology during repair cycle to help offset costs

    Lucid Energy's hydroelectric turbines deployed in municipal water line
    Lucid Energy’s hydroelectric turbines deployed in municipal water line