HomeResourcesBlogWhat is smart mobility and why is it important?
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What is smart mobility and why is it important?

By Mark Wallin June 4, 2021

The rise of the internet and instant information has given way to new expectations from business owners and customers on both ends of the consumer spectrum. It was not so long ago that manually logging driver data and face-to-face interactions, as well as handshakes deals and first-hand accounts, were the basis of truth and the only resource for deciphering information and drawing conclusions.

Technology is growing at a greater exponential rate than ever before in history. The impact of technological advances on businesses cannot be quantified. For now, it’s up to business owners to keep up or be left behind and risk losing not only customers but their way of life. As consumers of technology, we may not fully understand the ramifications of a new technology’s impact on the way we live and work for many years to come.

The notion of the “smart city” isn’t a new idea, but how soon the world might see its true first smart city has never felt closer to many who work in urban areas and municipalities. In order to manage swelling populations and growing congestion, innovation needs to be a top priority with big data at the center to make smarter decisions for better results.

When it comes to the fleet management industry, interconnectedness of nearly every aspect of daily work has ingrained itself in the way fleets and drivers operate on a minute to minute basis. As government mandates around compliance and customer expectations increase along the same high standard, business owners are searching for vehicle technologies and solutions that offer every capability in on a single, user-friendly platform that adds to their bottom line.

What is smart mobility?

In short, smart mobility is an intelligent transport and mobility network. Smart mobility is the connection of various elements of technology and mobility, a rethinking of the transportation infrastructure used in daily life and business. Not only does this include the use of traditional motor vehicles, electric vehicles, and public transportation systems, but also completely new modes of transportation like on-demand ride sharing services (Uber and Lyft) and carsharing programs. Changes in consumer behavior like the decline in private car ownership coupled with the rise of completely new mobility options are rapidly changing the way people are getting around. Concerns around pollution, traffic congestion, loss of productivity and (of course) money have made this idea gain traction in recent years in the fleet industry.

The smart mobility ecosystem contains in its definition a wide range of alternative modes of transportation, including traditional gas and electric vehicles, bike and scooter share programs, autonomous vehicles, rail lines, even augmented traffic realities where road space is designated for specific types of transport at different points throughout the day.

How does smart mobility apply to fleet management?

With the rise of fleet management software in the transportation industry, smart mobility’s philosophy of better integration, automation, safety efficiency, and sustainability fit in with a new normal in day-to-day business operations. Business owners are now being forced into modifying their operational practices by telematics mandates, which are proving to be beneficial for improving the bottom line through tracking driver data and creating efficiencies in fuel consumption. With consumers expecting same-day delivery and updates en route, this new normal in transportation is over-communication, transparency and complete visibility.

While many operators are sticking to time-honored methods of customer relations, the expectations of what constitutes “above and beyond” service are evolving as quickly as the technology that plays an integral part in day-to-day workflows. Read more about how one company gained a competitive advantage and improved customer relations by increasing the accuracy of arrival times.

Benefits of smart mobility systems

Smart mobility promises to bring a number of benefits for the majority of businesses across nearly every industry, efficiency being the most measurable. Removing redundant systems that produce unnecessary waste resulting in loss of revenue and valuable time will have a positive effect on businesses, not to mention workforces. The cost of congestion within the United States has been cited at $160 billion dollars annually. Reducing this congestion would result in more accurate scheduling for transportation of goods and arrival times. In addition to reduced congestion comes increased safety as a result of less traffic and better visibility for drivers.

Increasing efficiency with smart mobility services would not only have a positive impact on the economy. The environmental impact of a massive decrease in CO2 emissions and resulting pollution would positively improve the quality of life for the urban population.

How smart mobility integrates with smart cities

Integrating smart mobility solutions with urban infrastructure, including public transport systems and traffic data, could dramatically improve road safety and streamline urban economies dependent on efficient urban mobility to sustain business. Vehicle-to-infrastructure (v2i) connectivity with the use of ultrasonic, radar, and camera technologies would communicate information in real time to drivers and commuters on networks helping avoid dangerous activity before drivers are visually aware. Additionally, fuel economy of vehicles is improved by reducing the consumption of fuel during abrupt starts and stops. As these technologies become more advanced the trend towards driverless vehicles and smart cities able to predict and mitigate danger on our behalf becomes a more clear reality.

Understanding the future of mobility

No matter how far into the future people speculate that a paradigm shift in the way we move people and freight might be, it’s plain to see that the rise in smart mobility, even in the past few years, has had a massive impact on the way fleets operate and are monitored by owners.

By 2025, 90 million commercial vehicles will be connected to telematics systems and the telematics market will be worth close to USD $20 billion. The growth of vehicle tracking technologies has triggered better results for the consumer, as expectations are no longer solely on vehicle and cargo tracking, but on safe driving behavior and intelligent data aggregation by all-in-one platforms.

As smart cities grow, the availability of new roads and restrictions on vehicles that fall outside tightening emission and efficiency standards will make it difficult for fleets not up-to-date with the latest mobility technologies to compete in an data-driven marketplace.

Mark Wallin

Mark Wallin joined Verizon Telematics in 2012 and serves as the Vice President of Product Management.

Tags: Community, Productivity & Efficiency

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