Today’s stop in Cisco’s #TheFutureofPublicSector series leads us to transportation. With anticipation building for autonomous vehicles, buzz around a hyperloop that can travel as fast as 800 miles an hour, and the growing presence of transportation devices that have an ability to communicate with each other, we explore the way technology is changing the future of mobility.

Throughout history, mobility has been an important driver for societal development: enabling economies to boom by facilitating faster, more reliable trade, higher standards of living, international investment, and larger globalized business operations. The future of transportation is set to deliver all these outcomes and more. As the world becomes increasingly connected, so do transportation assets and devices, empowering communities and citizens around the world.

Safety First

Arguably the most eagerly anticipated development in the transportation industry is the self-driving or connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) which, despite perception, is set to increase passenger safety across multiple transportation modalities. Not only are these vehicles driverless, they have built-in artificial intelligence that can be programmed to monitor speed, maintain safe vehicle distance, and even mimic driving styles and behaviors which, on roads for example, can reduce incidents caused by speeding, aggressive driving or sudden braking. And by connecting these cars or city buses to each other and to other IoT devices like intersection sensors, we can more intelligently use data to manage congestion, highway capacity, road and weather conditions, and safer mobility throughout our communities. The city of Las Vegas, for example, is using connected vehicle and intersection data to enable emergency responders to pass through traffic and locate citizens in need of help more efficiently.

What the future of transportation will look likeCitizen Empowerment

This intelligence could also help to propel society toward a shared mobility model that is less about having your own personal vehicle, but rather treating mobility as a service – empowering citizens to be more productive during commuting times and enabling greater freedom and equal opportunities for those currently restricted by the inability to drive. This focus on passenger experience, and particularly the capability to increase commute productivity, is leading to the development of faster and faster modes of travel. Research and development continue into previously unexplored areas for maglev trains and hyperloop to potentially transform our travels all over again.

Plane going toward dollar signRevenue Generation

The future of transportation is exciting for air and sea vessels, too. In an effort to become the world’s smartest port, the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands has partnered with Cisco and IBM to better coordinate berthing more than 140,000 ships that pass through the port each year. The port uses secure IoT data exchanges, like wind, visibility and tide level to predict optimal berthing conditions to enable safer and more effective passage of ships and increase ship capacities to generate higher revenues for the port’s clients.

Our customers often ask how they can prepare for these changes. We build Cisco Validated Designs to help customers take that journey with a tested and validated approach. But we must go further.

Today, our society relies so heavily on connectivity of devices and data exchange, it is no surprise that concerns about cybersecurity and privacy slow the adoption of these transportation innovations. How can we securely scale these technologies to empower cities and communities in the future and regulate the use of personal citizen data?

Connected transportation

The Bridge to Possible

The rapid advancement of digitization in transportation calls not only for greater commitment and collaboration across governments around the world, but also for the creation of a universal multi-modal transportation framework that will help to standardize the way cities and communities use, secure, and govern the data that is shared across transportation assets, infrastructure, and devices.

This will accelerate the actionable intelligence that will help governments to leverage and extend the opportunities for future travel beyond the examples above. With that kind of framework, we can broaden the way we think about and develop mobility innovations that truly transform the way we get people and goods wherever they need to be.

Call to action to visit Portfolio Explorer tool

We’d love to hear what you think.

Comment below with your thoughts about the future of transportation and watch out for the next installment of our #FutureofPublicSector blog series. We will take a deeper look into some of the digital innovations in America, Latin America and Canada and how these are helping to change the future of the public sector.

The road to the future of transportation



TJ Costello

Global Director for Cities, Communities, & Transportation

Industry Solutions Group