Cities on the Edge: Enhancing Urban Mobility with Technology

Edge-based and 5G networks are being employed to lay the foundation for tomorrow’s generation of digital cities.

People are constantly flocking to cities, and the continued rapid growth of urban areas around the world means pressures on transportation networks and public safety. However, emerging technologies — Edge and 5G — promise to ease the pressure.

More people around the world live in urban areas – which includes central cities and their suburbs – than ever before, and those numbers continue to rise. The United Nations predicts that by 2030, more than a quarter of the world’s population will live in urban areas of more than 1 million people.

This means more traffic jams, more roadside deaths and injuries, and more pollution. City traffic management systems – many of which were first designed and built decades ago – do not meet these modern challenges and cannot handle rapidly growing traffic problems. City control center managers and operators can no longer simply handle the sheer number of events that require responses. These challenges – and active solutions – are explored in a new white paper published by Dell.

Download Infographic Now: What Manufacturing Leaders Say About Edge Computing and 5G

Edge and 5G based networks are being used to lay the foundation for the future generation of digital cities (also known as smart cities), which will be better positioned to manage and ensure a better quality of life within these growing metropolises. Technologies such as edge computing, 5G, data management, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and smart application architectures are converging, creating opportunities for city planners and administrators to develop powerful new capabilities to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.

See also: Smart Cities: A look into the future should guide the way

The Digital City approach to mobility will help ensure the availability of 24/7 streaming video and data feeds for high traffic areas, as well as the performance of light rail, buses and other transit systems. Administrators need to be able to assess points of disruption or delays and take remedial action.

For road safety and enforcement, “law enforcement must monitor and detect violations at traffic intersections and on highways using a system that automatically takes a picture of the vehicle violating the rules,” the Dell report states. Captured videos and photos are stored as evidence for your future reference. Combined with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) feature, this can be used to automatically identify violators and impose penalties in accordance with local regulations, thus reducing such violations and improving traffic flow. Violations that can be detected include detecting red light violations, detecting speeding violations, false violations and road traffic control.

In addition, real-time monitoring can help traffic managers detect vehicle queues at intersections and identify additional traffic classification details. This information can be combined with adaptive traffic light systems. This will allow intelligent control of traffic lights through adaptive traffic light systems based on the queue of vehicles at the intersection. Additional information can also be collected to get more insights, such as the number of vehicles and identify their type – two-wheelers, four-wheelers (cars, trucks, vans), and trailers.” The monitoring system can also track unauthorized stops, as well as track vehicles of interest.

The following elements will pave the way for providing such capabilities:

Strong IT infrastructureThe IT infrastructure in the Digital City is very crowded, running around the clock, with a wealth of video and data feeds from many locations and vehicles. “Today’s cities need to store and process massive amounts of data from cameras and other sensors scattered throughout the city,” says the Dell report. “This requires enterprise-wide infrastructure management to meet computing, storage, and networking needs.”

Highly integrated architectureVideo management and video analytics systems need to combine distributed security or business monitoring systems “into a single unified architecture that can support and scale hierarchical information flows,” the Dell report advises. “This is a critical capability for cities implementing urban mobility solutions to bring intelligence from different regions into a common control centre. This helps city officials manage and improve the mobility situation by applying unified response processes and orchestrating multiple agencies for an optimal response. Combined, the consortium capability helps With the advantage of GIS intelligence, officials achieve elevated situational awareness.”

Unified Transfer Operations Center: Cities need a centralized monitoring capacity that brings all this information together where officials can make decisions, according to the report. This involves combining information from many isolated systems operating in multiple geographic regions. To solve this gap in combining several isolated monitoring and analysis systems into one common application.

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