photo: Urban Engines


By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people, with more than 60% living in cities. Today, 64% of all travel is made within urban environments (2014), by 2050 forecast suggests there will be an increase in demand of 2.6 times the current levels of mobility. This means that cities of the future and future mobility projects will have to solve a host of complex issues, including congestion, pollution, access and gridlock.

Urban mobility is one of the strongest challenges faced by city governments. The provision of physical infrastructure is fundamental to enable mobility, however there comes a point when building more roads or adding more single-occupancy vehicles no longer provides an efficient way to move people around.

Technological advances and the deployment of sensors that are collecting vast amounts of data provide an opportunity for transportation leaders and urban mobility planners to offer better services and solve some of the problems they are imminently facing.

Markets and Markets reports that the global smart transportation market is expected to grow from $45.05 billion in 2014 to $104.19 billion by 2019.

Data is the raw material and underlying foundation to build new mobility services

Data and real-time information is necessary to power urban transit intelligence and new mobility services. Data enabled services could provide a host of social and economic benefits, as well as better user experiences.

  • Up to 70% of commuting time is “buffer time” (the time between when you arrive at a train or bus stop and when it actually leaves). Reducing the buffer in cities across the world could provide time-savings equivalent to more than $60 billion per year (McKinsey).
  • Adaptive traffic control and smart parking meters could reduce time spent in traffic jams and looking for parking spaces by 10 to 15 %, (McKinsey).

In 2020, there will be more than 250 million smart cars that will produce 350 MB of data per second. The connected car industry is expected to be worth nearly $2.3 trillion by 2020.

With cars acting more like computers rather than a means of transportation, and the power of mobile phones, a major market opportunity exists for service providers and retailers to analyze the data being collected. Indeed, car manufacturers, technology moguls, telecom providers, insurance companies, and advertisers, are all investing in smart car technology and figuring out how to build new products and services that leverage this flow of data.

Here are just a few examples of the companies we have been following in this space:

  • Anagog is an Israeli startup providing smart parking solutions by using sensors embedded in mobile phones. Anagog’s technology is able to accurately and automatically detect the mobility status of a user and detect the availability of parking spaces in real-time. Anagog also provides parking analytics data for municipalities such as parking statistics and parking habits in metropolitan areas.
  • Urban Engines uses information from the billions of trips that people and vehicles make each day to inform their mapping, visualization, analytics, and optimization platform and then create actionable insights. Urban Engines provides dynamic maps and real-time traffic insights to help commuters better plan their trip, delivery companies create scenarios for the best route to take and for cities to make better planning decisions based on commuter flows.
  • Transitscreen is a transportation software and digital signage company and a pioneer in providing real-time transit information displays. The TransitScreen service is a live, real-time display of all transportation options at a specific location (including subway, bus, train, bike share, and car share). TransitScreen makes transit information more accessible, viewable and engaging so that commuters, visitors, residents and employees can make informed transit decisions.
  • Driveway is developing a tool to provide better usage-based insurance. Driveway’s patented artificial intelligence technology measure safe and unsafe driving behaviors automatically, right from a driver’s smartphone. It analyzes driving behavior and provides data to auto insurers for better pricing intelligence.

Join us Tuesday September 6 for our TechMeeting on Smart Mobility.