Nikolaos Tsampieris, Senior Manager at ERTICO-ITS Europe explains why technologies such as IOT, 5G, AI, V2X are crucial to the development of smarter, more efficient transport networks.

How crucial is the Internet of Things in the increasingly efficient management of transport networks, especially as cities seek to reduce congestion and carbon emissions?

Internet of Things (IoT) is widely acknowledged as one of the key transformative factors in the mobility ecosystem. It enables transport operators and city authorities and governments to be more efficient in the way they collect handle and process real-time data. This, in turn, leads to optimal decisions in monitoring critical infrastructures, operating costs reduction, improved system capacity, and increased safety. As an example, Traffic Management, through IoT enhanced situational awareness attains a better operational performance with reduced energy use, congestion, and air pollution.

What kinds of technology do you anticipate we will see more of as cities look to better connect infrastructure and services? What’s the next step for something like V2X?

There is an increased need for secure, robust, uninterruptible communications, while ubiquitous connectivity is the new mantra.

V2X 5G-powered communications will connect in a mesh fashion millions of smart ‘things’, ranging from connected cars to IoT-enabled infrastructure and services. Increased Connectivity and in the future Ubiquitous Connectivity will result in safer connected cars, new intelligent traffic management systems, and less congested smarter cities.

Cellular V2X (C-V2X) technology, as part of a broader and continuously evolving IoT ecosystem, is expected to become more and more integrated into the latest traffic infrastructure products. Infrastructure elements will be able to communicate with smart connected sensing all-around cars and Cloud-based services in the future Next Generation Internet that will use beyond 5G (B5G) Connectivity.

How important do you think the speed of adoption of these technologies is in achieving autonomous mobility?

Autonomous Mobility, as part of the Cooperative Connected Automated Mobility (CCAM) framework, implies an intelligent interconnected transport infrastructure along with fast and reliable communications that can serve the diverse and complex connectivity requirements of the automotive and transport ecosystem. This will pave the way towards the envisaged much broader, decentralised, blockchain-enabled Internet of Mobility (IoM) and the provision of New Mobility Services.

Key enabling Communication technologies such as 5G (and others, such as AI, blockchain and IoT) are still in their early stages of development but the progress is ongoing and it is much faster than that of earlier generations.

The key factor for achieving better mobility, less congestion, more safety, and security is not so much the speed of adoption of the technologies; but rather answering questions of liability and governance such as who would be responsible for regulating autonomous vehicles? What are the legal and ethical considerations of 5G and autonomous vehicles?.

The inherent fear of people to relinquish control to an autonomous machine no matter how advanced it might be, is also an important, non-negligible issue to be addressed.

This article was originally published in Intelligent Transport