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Doctors, Scientists, and Teachers aren’t the only ones hitting the books this year and gaining more innovative insights into how to best operate in these unpredictable times. We’ve all heard of smart futuristic cities, but now we’re onto the next slide with the “not-so-futuristic” era of intelligent buildings and what that means for citizens of the United States. In the heat COVID-19’s worst blows, many have been forced to work from home, if they can, to eliminate person-to-person contact to help slow the spread of the virus.
Those who don’t have that luxury, however, have resorted to putting their health and safety on the line to continue effectively completing their jobs. Some actions are unavoidable, like touching door handles, sitting in meeting rooms, and flipping on and off light switches and toilet levers. Facial coverings, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer containers are all the right tools to protect and disinfect in this instance, but wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to lug these items around all the time and could rely on the intelligence of the building instead?
The Journey Back to Work
Smart buildings are known for using automated systems in order to grasp a sense of control over several functions like heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security, lighting, and many other environmental systems. These smart buildings will be made up of a complex network of sensors, switches, and microchips that will work to generate a constant flow, to feed into the larger model. Such infinitives have been introduced in greener and more sustainable working environments, but in the time of global pandemics and spreading germs, this lifeline can help sooner rather than later.
Like restaurants and grocery stores, sensors can be placed within innovative workspaces to detect if employees are following the correct social distancing guidelines. The more people populating a specific area could increase the likely spread of germs and, ultimately, the virus in these uncertain times. One can also install thermal imaging cameras in typical hallways and by entry points to scan and detect any 100.4 and up temperatures, alerting management and sending those employees to be tested and quarantined as needed. Developing an intelligent infrastructure for the lighting system, fire, security, and even desk orientation should be enough to inspire employees to come back to work, knowing that we can work together to fight this infection, one shift at a time.
Outside of these buildings are several different metropolitan cities around the globe, and they, too, are thriving and surviving throughout this pandemic. However, they have been maturing for quite some time when it comes to ‘getting smart.’ Cities are “armoring up” with many new forms of micro-mobility, and thanks to COVID-19, that popularity is expanding.
Paving the Way for Future Applications
In many instances, Mobility-as-a-Service introduces “new” forms of transportation, such as bicycle sharing, car sharing, and other innovative methods of demand-responsive transportation within the public transportation system. Ride-hailing and Ride-Sourcing are also two different concepts that are widely popular in the United States at the current time, especially in cities where the licensing and owning of a vehicle isn’t as common as it might be in more suburban and rural areas.
The future of MaaS will require the transportation sector to undergo a considerable transformation to society’s permission of technologies such as autonomous and electric vehicles, as additional modes of transportation for all usage points. Though they seem significantly ahead of time, the technology features are all intact to get it working correctly; it’s up to the people and legislators to welcome it into cities and regions around us.
What is an autonomous vehicle, you might ask? Autonomous Vehicles or AVs is essentially self-driving car that has the potential to revolutionize the mobility and safety of the transportation sector. As the technology continues to develop, it’s up to state government officials to determine the legality and address factors that could impact the efficiency of these vehicles on the road. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other Deep Learning hugely served the Automation industries this year, and Tesla wasn’t the first to innovate the Smart Car self-driving concept. Tesla’s Autopilot feature was first introduced back in September of 2014, and many advances have been added since then to complete the invention for users.
From a ride-sharing perspective, it seems like everywhere you look, ride-sharing innovators are popping up to offer you a ride to your location, especially at a time when basically nobody is out and about because we are living through a pandemic. COVID-19 is actually boosting the need for less human contact, and in the transportation sector, that can be implemented through more active options, such as bikes and scooters. Active transportation requires government officials to invest in safety-centric solutions to allow better users to travel in an efficient way. Though these futuristic opportunities seem like a fix to it all, there are some challenges put in place; for example, consider the more rural areas that don’t necessarily have access to intelligent parking lots and sustainable transportation options, whereas the more urban areas would because of their location and what’s placed around it.
There are many benefits to implementing intelligent mobility solutions, including increased safety. Many road incidents these days involve human error; whether the driver is distracted by their mobile device or unfamiliar with their surroundings, the driver is typically always to blame in most urban driving experiences.
Driverless cars and vehicles with semi-automatic features can help increase roadway safety by utilizing connected cars that can provide advanced communication for commuters with technological assistance, like blind-side detection sensors, backup cameras, Bluetooth Cellular connections, and even GPS driving aids.
The demand for intelligent transportation has steadily increased as the months go on. Defining Mobility-as-a-Service in conjunction with Smart Transportation systems helps to provide access to autonomous opportunities for users so they may unlock a brand-new experience unlike any other. Many cities have been slow to build such smart-city/micro-mobility infrastructure throughout their geographic limits. Still, perhaps it’s a sign of the times that we can all regain a sense of normalcy again through various comprehensive networks of connected vehicles, ride-sharing platforms, and intelligent workspaces to navigate better and safer experiences for everyone.
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