Smart Cities November eNewsletter - Smart Transportation

For a downloadable copy of this eNewsletter, please visit the IEEE Smart Cities Resource Center.

Resource Center Update: Improved user experience for IEEE members! Access/Download free products without a checkout process.

Written by Sara Paiva

The area of mobility and transportation has received great attention from the scientific community due to the recognized potential of the importance that these topics represent for the cities of the future. In this special issue of the IEEE Smart Cities eNewsletter, three articles are presented that address different challenges within the area of mobility and transportation using several topics such as blockchain, IoT, connected vehicles, decarbonization and congestion networks.

Written by Paula Fraga-Lamas and Tiago M. Fernández-Caramés

In the last years, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) have revolutionized the way many industries operate thanks to allowing non-trusted parties to perform transactions in a transparent and secure way, thus avoiding the participation of traditional intermediaries (e.g., banks, lawyers, or government agencies) and their involved fees. Such a revolution can also impact smart mobility, enabling the development of digital vehicle logbooks, enhancing smart manufacturing traceability, avoiding part counterfeiting, automating claim processing, or implementing usage-based car insurances. To emphasize the impact of blockchain and DLTs on the automotive industry, this article, after defining the basics of blockchain and DLTs, reviews the most relevant automotive blockchain-based applications and then focuses on a specific case: How blockchain can fuse with automotive Internet of Things (IoT) and IoT-connected vehicles to enable the development of a new generation of applications for vehicles that will make them smarter and safer.

Written by Soheil Mohseni and Alan C Brent

Cities are significant contributors to climate change. The sheer density of people relying on fossil fuels leaves urban populations particularly exposed to the consequences of climate change. Accordingly, innovative city development plans are increasingly integrating clean electric transport services and renewable energy generation. Electric vehicles (EVs) are progressively displacing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, riding the wave of battery cost reductions and the worldwide drive towards sustainability and decarbonization. The city-wide smart grid paradigm provides the infrastructure needed to enable the efficient use of this new generation of EVs. Smart grids, backed by advanced information and communications technologies (ICTs), as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, manage and direct energy flows for maximum environmental, social, and financial benefits. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology takes energy management in today’s smart grids a step further by allowing bi-directional energy flow between the grid and the EV’s battery. That is, the V2G technology transforms EVs into mobile batteries as distributed energy sources/sinks to buffer the grid in an intelligent manner – which fits within a broader landscape of smart energy management solutions in urban planning. In this setting, supervised EV charging/discharging infrastructure can communicate with the grid and control charging rates to effectively accommodate peak demand and the variability in renewable energy sources – and determine whether vehicles should be supplying/drawing electricity to/from the grid at any given time. However, this creates new challenges to network planning and practical implementation, necessitating fundamentally new strategies that adopt novel customer-centric services.

Written by Richa Daga

A smart city is based on efficient and reliable infrastructure to achieve sustainable economic growth. But can a city be called smart if its roads have traffic congestion or roadways get blocked by landslides, or it witnesses frequent road accidents? These are just a few of the challenges faced by cities on their way to becoming smarter. The solution to meet the needs of the present and scale to the requirements of future transport applications lies in Intelligent Transportation. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) use various technologies for collecting, analyzing, and managing data in real-time. The growing need to transport data instantaneously has caused increased network demands which require support from a robust communication network infrastructure backbone. This article highlights the next-generation networking technologies to build Smart Cities powered by Smart Transportation.