1) Sustainability Problem: Vehicle Congestion and Air Pollution
For city residents, traffic is a huge environmental problem as well as a nuisance.  Too many drivers on the road cause delays, decrease productivity, and increase air pollution.  According to the EPA, “vehicles produce roughly one-half of pollutants like VOCs, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter” and 75% of CO2 emissions are from automobiles.

2) Sustainability TechnologyUPS Cargo Bikes
Vehicles emissions are a growing concern for policy-makers who are beginning to recognize the emissions and climate change impacts of freight transportation. They are starting to look at the role of technology can play in delivering goods more reliable and in a more sustainable fashion.  They are also looking to reduce congestion, improve road safety, and decrease CO2 emissions that lead to health risks and climate change. Large retailers are partnering with cities to improve freight transport and UPS has proven to be one such leader with the inception of their Cargo-bikes.  Since their release in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, UPS has had a lot of success with their Cargo bikes and they are now rolling them out (literally) in the Northeast, starting with Pittsburg in the United States and Toronto in Canada.  Although the bikes hold much less capacity than their vans, they are looking to improve the technology to allow for an increase in capacity.  The rider must power the bike to pull the heavy cargo which as has been the biggest challenge.  However, the bikes now come with e-assist.  Through either a battery pack or solar panels on the roof of the cargo bin, the bike can have enough supply to help move the wheels for up to 18 hours.  Plus, pedaling the bikes helps to recharge the batteries while the driver is on the go!

3) Technology Stakeholders

  • UPS
  • Public Officials
  • City Agencies (Department of Transportation)
  • City Residents
  • Small Businesses

4) Implementation

  1. Locate small to medium-sized city where congestion is such a problem
  2. Using the Toronto model, and ones that have been successful in Europe, introduce 5 UPS cargo bikes throughout the city
  3. Test this out and if successful, add 5 more bikes to the fleet
  4. Once cargo bikes are successful, launch campaign to provide awareness on the issue of congestion to city residents and how it is being combatted by this technology
  5. Repeat model in other cities

5) Comment on Other Blog Post: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/16/newater-is-tackling-island-nations-primary-challenge/#comments

Sources:

Autonomous car intersection management

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1) Sustainability problem: Mobility

2) Name of the technology: Autonomous car intersection management

Company: University of Texas at Austin

Link: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~aim/

  • For the idea to work it would require roads to be mostly full of autonomous cars
  • Rather than stop at red lights, self-driving cars would schedule a slot through an intersection in real-time
  • The researchers compared AIM to heavy traffic on a major road, saying it would reduce delay by as much as 100 times – though that’s only at intersections, not total driving time
  • It not only promises to remove time waiting at lights, but will cut fuel usage and emissions as well
  • Intersections will be safer than they are today – a third of all fatal accidents in the roads happen at intersections

3) Stakeholders:

  • Government (roads authorities)
  • Autonomous car developers
  • Universities and more researches
  • Drivers

4) First 3 steps:

  • Invest more in research at the university
  • Develop a pilot program in a neighborhood or even university campus
  • Advertisement to make people comfortable with the machine conducting them through the intersections

vn2216: Viviane Gandolfi

How adaptive traffic signals can help reduce GHG emissions?

1) Sustainability issues : Wasted fuel and money, extended commuting time, unlivable streets and related GHG emissions due to traffic congestion. It is an Energy, Health and Mobility issue.

2) Technology Article : http://time.com/3845445/commuting-times-adaptive-traffic-lights/

  • The technology is an adaptive traffic signal system called SCATS that has been deployed in the city of Bellevue, outside of Seattle. It has been first developed by the Australian Transport Roads and Maritime Services for the City of Sydney and distributed by Australian companies.
  • How does it work? The timing of the intersection signals fluctuates in real-time with traffic conditions using a series of wires embedded in city streets and boulevards
  • Benefits : The system saves drivers $9 million to $12 million annually and enables a decrease of 36% to 43% on heavily trafficked streets during rush hours!
  • State of the art : Only 3% of the nation’s traffic signals are currently adaptive, the largest number being in Los Angeles.
  • Condition : The system works in smaller cities with particular problematic corridors and prevent from widening the lane and creating a bigger infrastructure impact.

3) I work for the NYS DOT

The stakeholders that will need to use the technology found :

  • The NYS DOT will have to promote this solution
  • The Department of Transportation in smaller cities of the State of New York
  • The technology distributors and deployers
  • The New York State Sustainable Business Council might be concerned since smarter road lights will enable a more efficient, sustainable and vibrant business life in the State

4)

  • Choose a medium size city around NYC with a specific corridor with traffic issue, partner with a SCARTS distributor and deploy the solution as a one-year pilot project on its more congested streets
  • Measure and promote the savings in fuel consumption and decrease in CO2 emissions to other medium size cities in the State AND to commuters (residents and companies) – through a state-wide PR campaign for example
  • Scale-up the initiative simultaneously in 10 new cities and celebrate results in terms of GHG emissions reduction at the state scale, translating it into quality of life net profit and households savings