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Delivering Better Transportation Solutions In a Connected World With Cisco IoE

Cisco ITS WC boothFord, GM, Honda, Toyota, the U.S. Department of Transportation.  It’s no surprise why they were front and center at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress which wrapped up in Detroit last week.   But, Cisco?

Barry Einsig, Cisco Transportation Executive and John Gillan, Sales Relationship Manager for Cisco Advanced Services prepare for a customer meeting at ITS World Congress

Barry Einsig, Cisco Global Transportation Executive and John Gillan, Sales Relationship Manager for Cisco Advanced Services prepare for a customer meeting at ITS World Congress.

“Reinventing Transportation in our Connected World” was the theme of this year’s ITS World Congress, yet a question we heard all week was “what is Cisco doing here?”  As if right on cue, as the show came to a close, Connected World Magazine ranked Cisco as #1 on their prestigious Connected World CW 100 annual ranking of the top 100 elite technology leaders in connected devices.

Cisco has long been recognized as a leader in traditional IT and networking, but customers are starting to see how the Internet of Everything and the Internet of Things is driving a big transformation in transportation.  And, they trust Cisco to lead the way again.

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The Rush Hour That Wasn’t So Rushed

Every morning, many of us have the same routine: the alarm goes off, we (reluctantly) get up and maybe hit the gym before showering and getting dressed. We gulp down a cup of coffee or bowl of cereal as we rush out the door to try and beat the traffic to work.

What if there was a better way? What if rush hour wasn’t so rushed? Picture leaving for work in your car one morning while it’s raining. As you begin your normal commute, a car half a mile ahead is involved in a fender bender due to the slick roads. Before the accident can snarl rush hour for everyone in the area, the connected network jumps into action. Safety systems on board the car involved in the accident automatically send alerts about airbag deployment so the network can pinpoint the reason for the delay and make an evaluation of the time it will take to clear the accident based on road assistance availability. Video surveillance allows 911 operators to quickly evaluate the seriousness of the situation – a two-car fender bender versus a multi-car pileup – and dispatch first responders or tow trucks accordingly.

As roadside help is on its way, the intelligent network synchronizes the traffic lights around the congested area to keep you and everyone else moving. Based on your new estimated time of arrival to the office, your calendar automatically updates, changing your first in-person meeting to a conference call via WebEx, instead, that you take from your cell phone in your car.

At the same time that you are rerouted around the accident scene, the transit authority automatically sends notifications through smartphone apps to riders citywide of delayed buses, offering alternate routes. But there is no rushing here – the transit authority talks to the alarm clocks, too, updating them to ring five minutes earlier. What if, on top of all those transit updates, your connected coffee machine updates, too, so that it makes you that cup of Joe as soon as the alarm goes off at the new time? That’s something I’d certainly appreciate!

The Internet of Everything is making these things possible. It is changing every aspect of our lives today – even the little things that we might not think about. Notifying commuters of traffic delays and offering alternate options can improve customer experiences and increase ridership. That can, in turn, reduce the number of cars stuck in traffic, improving the quality of the environment and even people’s health. People, process, data and things work together thanks to a unified framework approach, creating value for individuals and businesses alike.

Explore the interactive image above to learn more about the changes that IoE is making possible. And share your thoughts! Send me a tweet: @JimGrubb.

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