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Mobility from the Cloud

Michel Obadia, Head of Mobility, ASEAN, Siemens | May 6, 2015
Michel Obadia of Siemens talks about the need to leverage cloud to improve the transportation systems in order to accommodate the increasing number of commuters.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

According to the most recent mobility study by McKinsey, a total of €6.4 trillion -- or nearly €1,000 per person worldwide -- was spent on transporting people and goods in 2010. The global population is expected to increase roughly to 9.5 billion by 2050. Thus, to accommodate that number of people, all transportation systems need to be improved and efficiently networked[1].

Through cloud-based common platforms, transportation systems have started becoming more networked as applications (apps) now offer up-to-the-minute information on the fastest connections to help city dwellers reach their destination with ease despite the rising traffic volumes. For instance, in Singapore, there are reliable transport apps that provide real time updates on the fastest route for a commuter based on their present location and planned destination. In addition, such apps also inform a commuter about any breakdowns or service interruptions, and provides suggestions for alternate routes or mode of transport.

Imagine running late for a meeting but having the freedom of being unconcerned about it because the smartphone has an app from the mobility services provider to enable timely arrival, as it provides the quickest way to get to the destination. In addition to incorporating the information about all public and private transportation systems available, the app also has the ability to take the current traffic situation into account.

A commuter merely has to touch his phone, and the map on his display shows him where he is. The app gets traffic information from the cloud-based mobility platform, where the data is updated every second. The display shows the latest information about traffic conditions, parking spaces, taxis, car sharing vehicles, rental bicycles, and the stops and departure times of public transportation systems - in short, integrated information of the mobility services that are available to a commuter. He just has to enter his destination, and the app in the cloud calculates the fastest mode of transportation that will bring him there.

A one-stop cloud
A commuter selects the first of three suggestions that appear on his mobile phone display, which says he should first rent a bicycle from the nearest bicycle rental stand located 20 meters away. From there, he should cycle to the train station and take the next train to the city.  Alternatively, the commuter could use a nearby car rental from a car sharing company. However, the app shows that most of the streets to his destination are congested. Even if he takes the quickest route, it would take him much longer to drive there.


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