Micromobility charging stations

Student: Jessica Yu (Uni: JY3076)

Sustainability Problem:

Solar Power stations and infrastructures have been increasing in many places thus bringing down the cost in many homes. However, there are still many areas where the grid does not reach the areas and it is hard to gain energy access on the go.

Summary:

In order to make energy / charging stations available, standardize and universal charging station needs to be made available, DUCKT is a company that helps create this, gives access and creates a new stream of energy towards public transportation. DUCKT can charge any micromobility vehicle including scooters regardless of model in one infrastructure solution.

  • This company helps create a infrastructure that is suitable for many vehicles in the market. For example, in Paris, they deployed new charging infrastructure that can be plugged into advertising boards or streetlights.
  • DUCKT ( https://medium.com/startup-grind/startup-q-a-duckt-6306b15e3288) says its charging docks can be plugged into advertising boards, bus stations and street lighting to provide a power source, meaning scooters for example can stay in use for longer without the need to have batteries replaced.
  • The city of Paris has begun a pilot project to install 150 dock, lock and charge points for micromobility vehicles across the “Paris Rive Gauche” (13th Arrondissement) area of the French capital. The project aims to demonstrate how universal charging infrastructure can accelerate micromobility use and it’s hoped reduce climate impact in the city.
  • Scooters are very popular in the cities, so providing sufficient infrastructure will no doubt become crucial for authorities in the capital going forward. Time will tell whether projects such as this will be rolled out more widely in Paris and other cities where scooter usage is increasing.

Stakeholders

  • Public Space Owners (Key Stakeholders): While service operators are visitors of the city, people and the local authority are the hosts, and the hosts of the city are the one who will be impacted in their daily life
  • Sharing Operators (Primary Stakeholders): Firms are spending almost 60% of their income for operations and charging. Operators can cut from their extra operation times, especially to charge during the day anytime, anywhere. DUCKT Station provide safety against vandalism both during the day and night
  • 3rd party Business (Secondary Stakeholders): Parking operators, energy suppliers, coffee chains, EV stations, Shopping centers, holiday resorts, gas stations get to become mobility service hotspots.

Deploying this technology

Work with cities local authorities and scooters operators to present this solution to implement as a standard that benefits all. Furthermore, they also can work with scooter manufacturers because they have internationally patented the plug works in how it’s designed, they can have these adapters as a spec ready into these vehicles so they will already have a infrastructure solution that is already existing in the cities.

Open Charge Point Protocol

1. Problem: Electric Vehicle Charging Fragmentation
Sustainability Category: Energy Management, Mobility

29% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are from transportation with internal combustion engine vehicles being the highest source. With only about 1% of cars on the road being electric today, range anxiety from the lack of widespread charging infrastructure is a primary adoption barrier.

As the electric vehicle (EV) charging technology sector develops, closed charging infrastructure networks generate friction for hardware manufacturers, software developers, and drivers. Electric vehicle infrastructure developed by private network operators create silos that limit value for stakeholders. Industry fragmentation forces EV drivers to join multiple networks with varying accounts to access public chargers. The lack of standards leads to duplicative development effort to integrate charging stations and backend networks with energy systems. This limits providers from offering additional features across all providers.


2. Solution: Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)


The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is a charging infrastructure standard for EV charging station, Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), and back end software communication. OCPP reduces friction and fragmentation by increasing flexibility across the electric vehicle infrastructure industry for organizations and drivers.

— OCPP is an open-source, free standard published by Open Charge Alliance (OCA) that enables interoperability between charging infrastructure hardware and software networks.
— This neutral, open standard enables charging station vendors to access, share, and collect data with backend charge management operators so the widest amount of products can work together.
— On the charging station, OCPP enables charging station discovery, reservations, session authorization, billing information collection, and real-time charging data.
— On the backend software, OCPP enables real-time status of charging stations, remote charging session control, firmware management, and error notification.
— OCPP 1.6 is a JSON protocol that was released in 2015 and is the most widely used version in market today. OCPP 2.0 was launched in 2018 and provides major data encryption security updates. OCPP 2.0.1 is the latest version and was launched on March 31, 2020.

3. Stakeholders

OCPP is primarily utilized by charging station product, design, and engineering teams. Key organizations that are stakeholders in the OCPP ecosystem include:

— Open Charge Alliance (OCA):An international consortium of private and public EV infrastructure organizations that leads OCPP development, adoption, and certification.
— Network Management System Providers: GreenLots and ChargeLab are two EV charging network software providers that manage charging stations across manufacturers via OCPP.
— Charging Station Manufacturers: Blink and EVBox are two EV charging station manufacturers that use to connect devices to OCPP supported backend systems.
— EV Drivers:Mobile applications across providers initiate and manage charging sessions.
— EV OEMs: Manufacturers integrate OCPP on the in-car display to manage charging sessions.


4. Implementation

Once a hardware or software company decides to use OCPP, the following steps are taken:
1. The product management team will integrate OCPP in the roadmap and define requirements.
2. The design team will incorporate the OCPP functionality into hardware or software features.
3. Once approved, the engineering team will develop, test, and deploy OCPP features.


Sources


— Open vs. Closed Charging Stations: Advantages and Disadvantages. GreenLots: https://greenlots.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Open-Standards-White-Paper.pdf
— What is OCPP? ChargeLab: https://www.chargelab.co/industry-advocacy/ocpp   
— About Us. Open Charge Alliance: https://www.openchargealliance.org/about-us/about/
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions
— Electric Vehicles Setting A Course For 2030. Deloitte Insights:  https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/22869-electric-vehicles/DI_Electric-Vehicles.pdf

Smart Urban Growth Tackles Mobility and Electricity Distribution Concurrently

Cities can get smart taking control of their electrical grid and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as a means of addressing urban growth.  Boulder, Colorado is making a run at it but few outside Germany have taken a serious move in this direction for it requires a long-term vision.  Seeking this urban planning route is not always initiated for economical reasons.  Boulder, for instance, is driven to engage as a means of increasing renewable energy sources in their electricity generation fuel mix.  Here’s the catch, this approach may not a scalable or sustainable solution for all cities  Mega cities; no way anytime soon.  Rural environments; not likely ever needed.  So, Boulder just happens to sit in the Goldilocks Zone but even with it being “just right” the increasing digitalization of the electric grid and new sources of distributed energy will make this endeavor a tenuous pursuit.

Years ago I was involved in dozens of negotiations with municipalities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Many desired to “take control” of and then offer, as a public service, wireless Internet services for their citizens.  The complexities in equipment management and selection, maintenance, and budgeting were often solely regarded in the context of whether to make the WiFi a free or a for a fee amenity to subscribers.  Thing is, that’s not where the root challenge existed.  Even a little bit of education in these matters achieved a stakeholder stalemate for trying to figure out how to convert a privatized service into a public good without causing bias to an ongoing free market was no simple matter.  The concept of a public-private partnership was alien.

Dealing with increasing urbanization today requires a systemic stakeholder analysis and just the right sitting of pilot efforts in advance of any at-scale execution plans.  To date few cities have taken this approach but Toronto, Canada is on the way.

“...We are designing a district in Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront to tackle the challenges of urban growth…Sidewalk Toronto will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centered neighborhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunities” – Sidewalk Labs

To do as Sidewalk Labs proposes there must be an integration of technologies, policies, and financial mechanisms that allow for private and public implementation plans to surface, ones in service of many stakeholders.

  • SAMPLE TECHNOLOGIES AT PLAY
  • IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES
    • Analyze long-tailpipe electricity generation fuel mixes
    • Promote EVs and pilots ONLY in cities that have clean fuel sources
    • Establish population growth and transport demand metrics
    • Conduct customer interviews to fit future needs
    • Create intelligent city policies to cater to DER and EV microgrids
    • Engage private-sector electric mobility companies
    • Educate citizens on mobility and clean energy options
    • Build neighborhood based pilots
    • Engage citizens via engagement workshops for updates
    • Prepared to pivot for at-scale execution
  • STAKEHOLDERS TO ENGAGE
    • City Planners & Urban Designers
    • Public Entities and Administrators
    • Private Technology Providers
    • EV Manufacturers & Infrastructure Providers
    • Load Balancing Software Solution Providers
    • Private and/or Public Electric Utilities
    • Citizens

 

JMB2408 COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Leaf Plates):

This is an excellent solution to consumption and in turn waste. If this was a compostable solution that can be put to use in the local houseplant or compost pile then we’re talking about a dream conversion in consumption to waste. The other thing that would be amazing is to see this scale to shipping boxes or other high consumption transport items. Awesome find, thanks for sharing.

Smart Fabrics – no wires or batteries

 

Sustainability Problem: Real time data on workers, reduce injuries

For first responders information on victims and types of injuries are vital in order to determine the necessary procedures to perform.  As a result, speed is vital and decisions are made in seconds.  Information is not always readily available to first reconsiders  when they arrive to an emergency scene. Every year, thousand of people are misdiagnoses and/or treated incorrectly due to lack of information on the injury and/or the victim’s medical history.

Most smart fabrics are not sustainable because they require electronics and  batteries.

 

Sustainable Technology: Smart fabric

  • Researchers at the University of Washington developed a smart fabrics that holds magnetize text that can store small amounts of data readable by a magnetometer.
  • The fabric can interact with storage devices without the need for onboard electronics or batteries.
  • Individual’s emergency medical history can be stored on the fabric.
  • First responders can scan a victim’s clothing to gather vital statistics – e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, allergies, etc.
  • This fabric is more sustainable since it doesn’t require any electronics and / or batteries.
  • Fabric maintains magnetic field after washing, drying, and ironing.
  • Fabric can be encoded with security information to access secure locations (e.g., home, office building, etc.. )

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609264/your-next-password-may-be-stored-in-your-shirt-cuff/

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology:

  • Researchers at U. of Washington (Justin Chan, graduate student)
  • Prof. Shyam Gollakota, U. of Washington
  • U. of Washington Networks and Mobile System Lab

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology:

  • Continue testing fabric and weather proof
  • Increase longevity of magnetic field (declines over the course of a week)
  • Increase data storage capacity.

 

Comments:

The technology mentioned below can be used in natural gas / oil pipelines to monitor leaks. Every year, there are thousand of leaks in gas / oil pipelines. The majority of the leaks go undiscovered for days and/or weeks before discovered.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1650267701

Cities Get Smart by Prioritizing Mobility

By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, up from about 50 percent today.  Planners and designers swiftly get transportation logistics, congestion, and air pollution, but when pushed to make urban life better for their citizens they often fail to deliver.  Some urban areas already rank above average and offer integrated multi-model mobility options but these complex offerings to deploy.  Mobility technologies exist (see below) that ease the pain when prioritizing mobility but this is not merely a “tech fix” situation for it requires collaborative stakeholder engagement and implementation planning as well.

Copenhagen has for a long time now housed parking lots full of bikes, their transport lanes throughout the city prefer pedal pushers, and when I was recently there nearly everyone told me they bike more than they use an automobile.  London is building “cycle superhighways” and New York expects to have 1,800 miles of bike lanes by 2030.  Thus, the challenge of bringing smart mobility solutions to urban dwellers doesn’t require fancy new technologies but instead lies in the requirement to establish collaborative planning processes that educate, iterate, and ultimately are built with flexibility in mind.  When driven by the urban subculture it’s apparent.  I just returned from Boulder, Colorado and when there I saw municipal bicycle storage options integrated with public transportation lines; a natural extension of the daily commuters lifestyle.  Don’t think this is something we’re going to see in Atlanta, Georgia anytime soon!

Don’t get me wrong, municipalities are working hard to solve these mobility issues, this isn’t just about meeting citizen’s demands pushed at planners and designers.  Heterogeneous trends in urban mobility have been slowly coming online and one of the most touted “technology” solutions is the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.  The start of smart planning to better manage congestion but then that was taken the next step through innovative laws in states like California that now allow HOV access for electric or hydrogen vehicles too.  Right on the heels of HOV lanes came congestion parking in major metros like New York City and the concept of peak demand parking sits at the bleeding edge of urban mobility, despite nobody having worked out the math just yet.  In fact, new business models are continually trying to deal with the needs for increased data collection and logistical management analysis.  This is clearly the direction smart cities are going but in my research this isn’t as far as it will go in the coming decades.  What comes next will seem extreme but population growth and the demands of urbanization on cities will require ultra efficiency.

For a hint into the future just look at Singapore.  Albeit they’re an island, but because of this they’ve been pushed to their mobility limits ahead of other major metros.  They’ve opted to set aside cars all together and this isn’t solely because they can’t build more suburbs for their commuters and cars.  They’re aware of the laden energy in costs in vehicle manufacturing and the significant potential to reduce CO2 by switching from gas powered automobiles to walking, biking, and electrified forms of mass transit.  In fact, as the Singaporean government lowers their transport and mobility energy profile, they’re guaranteeing the citizens will be able to live healthier lifestyles.  This effort paves the way for systemic shifts and opens the door for a sustainable mobility future; one inclusive of drone package delivery drops, self-service mail centers, automated vehicles (passenger, bus, tram, freight, and corporate fleet solutions), and allows for mobility as a service to flourish as well.

Cities wanting to establish integrated mobility plans and capture the full range of transportation and mobility solutions must take assessment of technology options, perform collaborative stakeholder analysis, and comprehensively implementation plans with a citizen centric approach.  Here are a few places to start:

  • SAMPLES OF URBAN MOBILITY “TECHNOLOGIES”
    • Congestion Pricing – HOV driving lanes, street, & parking
    • Urban Redesign – mobility optimization, curb, & intersection plans
    • Coordinated Actions – private & public sector collaboration
    • “Cycle Superhighways” – extra wide lanes dedicated to bicycles
  • ABBREVIATED IMPLEMENTATION STEPS
    • Establish population growth and transport demand metrics
    • Conduct customer interviews to fit future needs
    • Define the city and citizen archetypes
    • Create intelligent city policies
    • Engage private-sector mobility companies
    • Educate citizens on multi-mode mobility values
    • Leverage academic and startup incubators or accelerators
    • Build neighborhood partnership test pilots
    • Schedule citizen updates via engagement workshops
    • Act boldly and prepared for agile adjustments
  • KEY STAKEHOLDERS
    • City Planners & Urban Designers
    • Public Entities and Administrators
    • Academic Institutions
    • Accelerators and Incubators
    • Technology Mobility Solution Providers
    • Citizens

JMB2408 COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Fast-Charging Busses):

This is conceptually really “smart” but I wonder about what they claim to be able to do vs. what can actually be done. It’s logical to see this sort of quick charging take hold on the public transport lines and it really improves the efficiency of energy use but it’s not a straight forward fossil-fuel free solution until the energy comes from that source. Perhaps in France, with all the nuclear, it makes this ring true but if you put this in Wisconsin it won’t for all you’re doing is displacing the fossil-fuel from the source point at the vehicle to the power generation location. In my analysis there are many instances where the electrification of the transport sector makes things worse for CO2 emissions. Then again, local air quality will always go up so it depends on the objective of the smart city – local solution, regional, or global.

Thanks for sharing, cool tech and more to come I’m sure.

Surtrac – AI enabled traffic signals

1) Sustainability problem: Vehicular idling and congestion in traffic stops. Area: Civic Engagement, Mobility. 

  • Idling in rush-hour traffic  costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity
  • It also produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
  •  In many urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic.

2)  Technology

  • The Surtrac or Scalable Urban Traffic Control system relies on computerized traffic lights coordinating closely with each other. Radar sensors and cameras at each light detect traffic. Sophisticated AI algorithms use that data to build a timing plan that moves all the vehicles it knows about through the intersection in the most efficient way possible.
  • Each signal then sends the data to traffic intersections downstream so they can plan ahead and can avoid congestion.
  • Surtrac system is interoperable and can use DSRC technology for Vehicle to infrastructure communication, where street signals “talk” and rely data to smart vehicles in real time.

Print

 

Sources:

  1. https://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/robotics/artificial-intelligence/pittsburgh-smart-traffic-signals-will-make-driving-less-boring

3) Stakeholders

  • City and local governments
  • Department of Transportation
  • Road transport commuters.

4) Deployment 

  • Research cities with highest intersection traffic congestion
  • Partner with the DOT and local governments to install the SURTRAC system in those areas
  • Reach production at scale so as to being down cost of installation of each SURTRAC unit.

JV2610  COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Bacteriophages improve food safety and animal health issues) :

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the major challenges facing the global health community and better alternatives are needed in order to prevent mass causalities from anti-biotic resistant bacteria. The Bacteriophages used in BAFASAL are viruses that need a bacterial cell to replicate. Once they infect a bacterial cell, they quickly replicate using the host cells RNA and other vital proteins and then “lys” or kill the bacteria when the new phages emerge from it. Proteon’s phage technology doesn’t affect the animal’s immune system.”

 UNI – jv2610

Transit Signal Priority (TSP)

Sustainability Issues

A well-functioning transit system is a essential component of any major city. However, in cities with narrow streets and high level of traffic volume like NYC, buses or other transit vehicles often trapped in busy intersections, resulting in traffic congestion and excessive air pollution emitted by standstill vehicles. According to a mobility report issued by NYC government, in n central business districts like Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Jamaica Queens average travel speed for buses are often 4 mph or less. Prioritizing traffic signal at busy intersection for buses could lead to higher travel speed of buses and therefore improve overall efficiency and service quality of the transit system.

Technology: Transit Signal Priority 

  • Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is a set of operational improvements for traffic lights that use technology to reduce dwell time at traffic signals for transit vehicles
  • Such a technology includes a detection system and a priority request generator aboard transit vehicles (or in centralized location)
  • As TSP equipped transit vehicles approach corridors, a signal will be sent by the priority request generator wirelessly to the traffic light control system
  • As the system receives the priority signal from transit vehicles, a set of pre-set strategies will be utilized to either hold green lights longer or shorten red lights until the transit vehicle pass the intersection
  • The same system could also be utilized to prioritize traffic signal for emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks

Stakeholders 

  • Department of Transportation
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Municipal government
  • Traffic signal providers

Deployment 

  • Identify intersections and corridors with highest traffic volume
  • Launched a pilot program to upgrade traffic signal system and install priority request generator in some transit vehicles (especially BRTs)
  • Evaluate effectiveness of the system and improve shortcomings
  • Employ the system in all transit vehicles and corridors to improve transit efficiency

 

Source:

https://www.transit.dot.gov/research-innovation/signal-priority

https://www.transitwiki.org/TransitWiki/index.php/Transit_signal_priority_(TSP)

UNI: MH3730

Adaptive traffic signals

 

cars.jpg

Source: Mashable

 

Sustainability area: Safety, Energy and Health

Cities have a hard time dealing with congestion. It impacts GHG emission, air quality and energy consumption.  Adaptive traffic signals enable the city to adapt their traffic lights automatically based on real data (how many cars, accidents, pedestrian crossing).

Traffic is regulated based on actual road usage and habits. Thanks to sensors and camera, companies such as KLD developed algorithms that learn from patterns and can adapt or redirect traffic.

Sources :

FORTUNE

TIME

Stakholders: City officials

Implementation:

Conduct a research on the cities that have the most pressing problmes related to congestion

Find areas in those cities where city official will be able to test the technology (enough traffic but not too much, and be careful to not use an area with too many pedestrians)

Record data before the technology is implemented and after it is inplace to compare and follow the progress achieved

 

 

 

Hong Kong’s In-town Baggage Check-in

  1. Technology (http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2014/08/every-city-needs-hong-kongs-brilliant-baggage-check-system/378826/)

This technology allows travelers to check in at the Central Hong Kong or Kowloon station, between 24 hours and 90 minutes before their flight. With either a single ticket for the Airport Express or using their existing Octopus card (daily electronic contactless payment card for commuting around HK) travelers can access the check-in area.

The process is similar to that at a typical airport check-in; At the airline desk, travelers collect their boarding card and deposit any luggage. The check-in agent should also provide information about the last Airport Express train for them to connect with their flight at the airport. Once at the airport travelers can proceed straight to security and immigration.

  1. Sustainability Problem

This check-in baggage service helps reduce the trouble of getting from the city center to the airport, located 40km away. The usual options travelers can use to commute to the airport include going by car and traveling by train (e.g. Airport Express).
Often with the burden of multiple pieces of luggage, travelers with the means might choose the convenience of going by car. This comes with its own problems of traffic and high cab fares or parking fees.
The alternative of taking public transportation can be a daunting task, especially when certain stations are crowded or not equipped with escalators or elevators, and luggage is bulky and heavy. For some travelers, this task may be physically impossible, leaving no other option but to pay for private transportation.

As such, the in-town check-in service provides travelers with an attractive and flexible option to take public transportation once they have deposited the main burden of the journey at a convenient location, well connected within the city center. This can help reduce the number of individual car journeys and in turn hopefully ease the traffic as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Stakeholders

  • Local Government
  • Transport planners and operators
  • Airlines operators
  • Commuters
  1. Implementation Process

The implementation of this technology requires the partnership between individual airline operators, local planners and the transport authority. To connect the new infrastructure with existing public transportation lines, this must be led by the public sector. At the same time, the technology’s success is also dependent on the private airlines to man the actual operation and logistical coordination between baggage checked in the city center, ensuring that it reaches the airport and gets on the correct out-bound flight. In order to ensure that the system is well-utilized, they must maintain a strict standard. Given the high upfront costs of installing the infrastructure, they must make sure that travelers feel secure and trust that their bags will be there when they arrive in their final destination.

Sources:

About Travel, In Town Check in at Hong Kong Station and Instructions: http://gohongkong.about.com/od/hongkongairpor1/a/intown_checkin.htm

MTR, Services and Facilities: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/complom_checkin.html