Traffic jams: how much do they cost?

Analyzing UK’s major roads, connected car services and transportation analytics company Inrix revealed there were over 1.35 million traffic jams in the past year, costing drivers £9 billion (USD 11.9bn) of wasted time, fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions. Estimates were made based on assumptions about trip purpose and the fuel consumption of the average vehicle, with national averages used as a basis. The causes of the five worst queues ranged from fuel spills to broken down lorries.

In contemporary Cities, traffic congestion is mostly due to the lack of efficient and pervasive public transportation systems, the unfavourable scheduling of goods delivery services, and parking search. Independent studies confirm 30% of urban traffic could be reduced if improving itineraries of private vehicles seeking for a vacant parking lot.

Read more about Inrix study about traffic jams in UK.


The Internet of Things and the evolution of jobs

The Internet of Things is revolutionising how we live, how Cities manage urban services, how manufacturing companies control processes and plants. The jobs market is mirroring this evolution and creating new career paths for graduates.

Skills in areas such as device and network security are crucial – as is the ability to analyse data. Employers are also looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of network administration and cloud-based solutions. But technical know-how is only part of the picture – communications, teamwork and problem solving skills are important too.


IoT: long-range backscatter systems to communicate without energy


At the University of Washington in Seattle, a team of wireless systems experts is developing a long-range backscatter chip to run on extremely low power IoT devices and enable communications over long distances. Their goal is to support thousands of devices that are potentially battery-free, providing them with the ability to send information to a receiver as far away as a mile and three-quarters.

Such distance would fit IoT communications within family homes or large offices, and even across industrial plants. Potential applications deal with Smart Homes and Smart Factories, but researchers are convinced that the most exciting uses for the technology would be medical.

Read more on Nbc News



Wireless IoT

Will drones revolutionize urban mobility?

Drones are having a transformative impact on how people live, do business and interact. Although the idea of whizzing over our Cities in private flying cars or taxis is quite fascinating, urban mobility won't probably be the killing application for drones - for a number of technical, energetical and practical reasons.

But unmanned vehicles have already proven their potential across diverse fields – from the remote delivery of goods to humanitarian-aid support, from video surveillance to emergency services, from air quality monitoring to yet unforeseen urban applications.

Read Carlo Ratti (Director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT)'s opinion on by the Hong Kong Economic Journal.


Being a Smart City is also a matter of reputation

Cities are brands, which need to be grown and communicated to attract people and businesses, political willingness and investments. Being a Smart City is not only a matter of building an inclusive, resilient, and energy-efficient community, but also a solid and acknowledged reputation.

According to City RepTrak 2017 by Reputation Institute, Sydney, Copenhagen and Vienna are the most reputable Cities in the world.
If their reputation is directly impacted by the perception of respective countries, the index shows how much City managers can improve it by investing on public safety, local attractions, sustainability, and appealing experiences both for residents and visitors - in a genuine Smart City spirit.

Full report and more details available here.