Technologies present vast opportunities to manage traffic proactively with data-driven insights; to automatically detect incidents for faster response; to more efficiently and effectively manage bottlenecks on the road; and to identify and target traffic violations – resulting in smoother traffic, reduced congestion and carbon emission, as well as safer journeys for all.
Smart urban traffic management systems have the potential to leverage emerging technologies such as connected vehicles, faster connectivity, edge computing and IoT, to provide more efficient traffic management and information dissemination between vehicles, infrastructure, commuters and public transport systems, to achieve a more integrated, cohesive and sustainable transport ecosystem that benefits cities of the future.
Conventional signal control is complex and time-consuming to configure and adapt to dynamic traffic changes and has limited capability to make sense of data from more advanced sensors involving connected vehicles, infrastructure and other transport systems. One of the areas which urban planners should look into is to optimise junction management by leveraging technology and digitalisation to manage traffic junctions in smarter ways. Through smart junction management, real-time traffic data can be analysed to offer predictive and pre-emptive signal control, and it can also automatically recognise traffic changes and self-adapt for traffic flow optimisation.
Using a blend of AI, data analytics and IoT, ST Engineering’s Smart Junction Suite can work with a range of sensor types and communications networks, allowing traffic control centres to enhance management of traffic flow by optimising traffic signal control.
Urban planners should look into is to optimise junction management by leveraging technology and digitalisation to manage traffic junctions in smarter ways
Besides improving daily traffic flow, the Smart Junction Suite is capable of setting a network of traffic lights to green for emergency vehicles and public transport to minimise stops at junctions, and minimise delays and congestion that can lead to increase in carbon emissions.
The Smart Junction Suite will also support vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications to facilitate safer navigation for autonomous vehicles, truck platooning (the linking of two or more trucks in convoy, using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems), and other future mobility needs.
Managing smooth traffic flow with minimal stops is essential for urban commuting. The Smart Junction Suite is developed as part of ST Engineering’s Smart Corridor initiative that aims to provide smoother travel from the commuters and drivers’ perspectives. Along the travel route (“corridor”), a few areas that normally stop or delay the traveller include road congestion, traffic junctions, stops for public transport such as buses, taxi and stations and car parks.
Leveraging technology and a human-centric approach, ST Engineering has identified several key solutions that overcome mobility challenges and address the current and future transport needs of cities. These include urban traffic and highway unified management, smart junction, public transport fleet management and smart car parks.
These tech-enabled solutions leverage AI, big-data analytics, IoT and emerging technologies to better understand, visualise and manage the dynamic relationship between supply infrastructure and mobility demand. They enable the deployment of a wider range of mobility services such as multi-modal transportation and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).
Through a unified approach, account-based ticketing and mobile payment solutions can be incorporated to allow commuters to better plan and pay for their journeys conveniently from end to end, across multiple transport services, through mobile phone, contactless bank card/smart card and other payment modes.
Shared autonomous public transport
Although it may be some time before autonomous vehicles (AVs) are more commonly found on the road, many cities around the world are already embracing the benefits of shared autonomous transport in the form of buses and shuttles that provide on-demand services as well as first/last-mile connectivity.
They offer to revolutionise urban mobility by making it more accessible, affordable and, more importantly, environmentally friendly. If such options are well integrated into the public transport system, they can potentially transform the mobility landscape and encourage more people to make the switch from private vehicles to public transport.
To perform safely and effectively, vehicle systems must be able to recognise every object and environmental variable the vehicle might encounter in real-world scenarios
Drawing on connected sensors and AI-enabled analytics, autonomous vehicle technologies are developed to overcome some of the challenges associated with self-driving to achieve stringent safety adherence during operations. To perform safely and effectively, vehicle systems must be able to recognise every object and environmental variable the vehicle might encounter in real-world scenarios and respond safely to all situations on the road.
This is where V2X comes into its own, allowing AVs to communicate with each other and with their surrounding infrastructure – whether traffic lights, streetlights and other road fixtures – to enhance the autonomous vehicle’s awareness of its environment, and safety within it.
A lot of progress has already been made here, over the last five years. In 2015, ST Engineering launched Asia’s first fully-operational autonomous vehicle at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. More recently, ST Engineering piloted Singapore’s first commercial on-demand public autonomous bus services at Science Park 2 and Jurong Island in Singapore, and launched Israel’s first public autonomous shuttle service at the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, in addition to deployments in other cities.
AI-enabled incident response
Having comprehensive situational awareness of increasingly complex rail networks is essential to providing fast response and mitigation of incidents, ensuring optimal train service conditions and an efficient commute for passengers.
The Fusion AnalyticS for public Transport Event Response (FASTER) system, jointly developed by ST Engineering, IBM and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, uses AI and advanced analytics to deliver a comprehensive situational awareness of Singapore’s rail network and its linkages with other parts of the transportation network.
The FASTER system leverages smart and integrated use of data and technology, and is designed to take a commuter-centric approach to its IoT sensing, situation assessment and event response planning capabilities. Real-time alerts enable transport operators to make swift and accurate situation assessments and respond to potential issues efficiently to minimise any interruption on train operations, providing a smooth travelling experience for commuters.
Smart car park management
Other opportunities for smart mobility management include smart car park systems which guide users to vacant places, identify them via automatic number plate recognition to provide hassle-free entry and exit, and allow them to conveniently pay parking fees via their mobile phones. Besides improving operational efficiency for car park operators, it also saves drivers a lot of time and frustration, reduces congestion from driving around looking for vacant lots and also contributes to cleaner air for all.
ST Engineering has implemented Singapore’s first barrier-free Smart Car Park system for campus parking at the Nanyang Technological University. It uses an IoT platform together with advanced video analytics to integrate with mobile applications to provide seamless car park management and convenient parking experiences.
Besides improving operational efficiency for car park operators, it saves drivers time and frustration and reduces congestion
As car parks in cities face different operational challenges and limitations, ST Engineering offers a comprehensive Smart Car Park suite that includes parking guidance systems, electric vehicle charging, enforcement systems and payment modules. It can also support software-as-a-service deployment to help car park operators get up and running quickly and efficiently, without the need for heavy infrastructure and software investment.
ST Engineering: driving smart mobility innovation
ST Engineering is a global technology, defence and engineering group that uses technology and innovation to solve real-world problems and improve lives through its diverse portfolio of businesses across the aerospace, smart city, defence and public security segments.
A leading provider of smart city solutions with a global track record of 700 smart city projects in over 130 cities, we offer a comprehensive and integrated suite of mobility, utilities, infrastructure, and environment solutions that are powered by deep capabilities in digital connectivity, big data and video analytics, AI and robotics. ST Engineering is also a key contributor to Singapore’s smart city initiatives, as well as an established technology partner to governments, defence forces and enterprise customers all over the world.
In smart mobility, ST Engineering is helping cities all over the world gear up their transport ecosystem and transform into more connected, resilient and sustainable spaces that enhance travel experiences and quality of lives for citizens and communities. Consistently at the forefront of smart mobility technologies and innovations, we have deployed over 100 mobility projects in 48 cities across Asia, the Middle East and the US.
Our land transport solutions have enabled more than 65 million commuters and motorists around the world to travel more seamlessly while minimising impact on climate change, and our shared autonomous transport is making headway with comprehensive solutions and many firsts in the industry.