The Internet of Things and transportation

The world of traffic data collection, engineering, and planning is changing. As technology evolves, it continues to drive the creation of innovative solutions to century-old problems. As we head toward an inevitable smart city reality it’s important to plan for how the Internet of Things (IoT) will help shape that future, specifically in the transportation industry.

The Internet of Things

IoT wirelessly connects everyday objects to a vast network of sensors, which enables seamless communication between people and objects. The rise of IoT has allowed us to gather significant amounts of data that can be used to better understand, plan for, and engineer cities.

To find an example of how prevalent IoT-connected devices have become, look no further than your living room. The popularity of the NEST thermostat is due to its ability to monitor its surroundings to learn your daily habits, and ultimately use that information to improve your life – in this case, by personalizing the temperature in your home. IoT devices can also save you money, in the case of the NEST thermostat by cutting down on your electricity bill. Theoretically, given enough time, the device essentially pays for itself. And, because it’s connected to the internet, you can access it from your smartphone to change the settings or temperature at home, from anywhere.

IoT can be applied to devices like roadside cameras, traffic sensors, and other transportation-specific tools in much the same way. Once they’re connected, these tools can provide planners and engineers with data to help them equip their cities with more efficient roadways.

Traffic data collection using IoT

Better communication and data collection allow us to gather information to help shape our understanding of how transportation planning affects cities.

We’re able to collect information on travel time, origin destination, vehicle volumes, traffic movements, and more. This data can then be applied to adaptive signal control, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) projects, as well as engineering and construction projects.

A number of ITS solutions are using V2V and V2I to transmit and use traffic data. This is where vehicles and roadside units communicate through nodes in order to provide each other with information, such as safety warnings and traffic information. That data can then be analyzed to provide cities with information that leads to innovative solutions like red light warnings, automatic tolling, and provide routing and navigation information for drivers.

IoT solutions from Miovision

We recently launched Scout Connect which uses IoT connectivity to provide you with information including, field updates and alerts. And, because it’s connected, your Scout unit can be managed remotely and gather new data types, including Travel Time reports, and MAC address capture.

Miovision Spectrum connects your traffic signals making them smarter and helping you better understand your intersections. With connected traffic signals you can create a smarter, safer city, one intersection at a time.

IoT and transportation

Cities are under increasing pressure to solve transportation problems and ensure that livability and mobility improve, and technology will play a crucial role in solving these issues. IoT connectivity can help us make better decisions by providing us with data to help solve complex problems, including traffic and parking. But, while IoT provides us with new types of data, we need tools (like AI) to make sense of it. Once we have usable information, transportation professionals can choose to open up that data to other city departments, or to developer communities, creating endless opportunities for innovation. For instance, Miovision Labs is working with other researchers and academic institutions, and using open transportation data to lay the groundwork for smart city infrastructure.

According to Gartner, there are currently 8.4 billion connected things. That number is expected to grow to 20.4 billion by 2020. As these technologies continue to expand and develop, the opportunities for cities will grow. The time to decide where your city stands on IoT is now.