My morning commute usually takes about an hour, on a good day, and it’s only 25 miles from home to office. As I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic — yet again — I began to think of the global nature of this problem and how much time and money is being wasted. According to the most recent Urban Mobility Report, traffic congestion causes U.S. citizens to spend an additional 5.5 billion hours in transit and expend an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel. This equates to a staggering cost of $121 billion.
In addition to the monetary toll of traffic congestion, there are also the pressing concerns of safety and the effect on our environment. In its Global Status Report on Road Safety (2013), the World Health Organization emphasized that worldwide more than a million people die each year in road traffic incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for age 4 and every age 11 through 27, in the U.S. alone. Transportation creates nearly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
At the same time, major global trends are driving the need for significant changes in transportation around the world:
- Aging proprietary technology: Most existing mass transit systems are composed of disparate networks that are prohibitively expensive to operate and manage. In addition, because many systems are not interoperable, they provide fragmented communications that raises the potential risks to public safety. Here, technology is desperately needed to quell safety concerns, as well as enhance the travel experience for passengers who demand constant Wi-Fi connections for their devices while in transit.
- Increasing urban density: The urbanization of the globe continues and drives the need for more efficient transportation systems. For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population resides in cities, according to the United Nations. The world’s urban population now stands at 3.9 billion people (in 2014), and this number is expected to double by 2050. This will significantly impact traffic congestion and compels the need for immediate solutions.
- Enabling economic benefits: A high-quality transportation network is vital to a top performing economy. Transportation investments enable long-term competitiveness, productivity, innovation, lower prices, and higher incomes (Economic Analysis of Transportation Infrastructure Investment, 2014).
Cisco Delivers Solutions through Connected Roadways
Cisco has developed Connected Roadways as one component of our larger Connected Transportation solutions. These solutions can help transportation industry leaders address challenges with intelligent networking capabilities that leverage the Internet of Everything (IoE). Through IoE’s connection of people, processes, data, and things across the entire transportation spectrum, Connected Roadways will enable cities, municipalities, transportation and public safety agencies to improve their decision making ability.
Agencies and enterprises benefit from a converged, end-to-end, wired, and wireless infrastructure that allows new vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure applications. They reduce their operating and maintenance costs, while commuters and motorists benefit from safer roads with more available services and less congestion.
Just imagine… a world with no more traffic jams. I don’t know about you but it sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.
For additional information about Cisco Connected Roadways:
- Watch the webcast to learn about the validated network designs for Cisco Connected Roadways
- Visit our Connected Roadways website for more detail about the offering.
- When you’re ready, contact Cisco’s Connected Transportation team to start a conversation about how you and your organization can access the full value of the Internet of Everything.