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#SustainabilitySpotlight Talks: Engineering solutions for a more Sustainable Mobility  

Today is the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development. The day, proclaimed by UNESCO’s General Conference on March 4th, aims to highlight the critical role of engineering in addressing global challenges and advancing sustainable development. The theme of this year (“Engineering solutions for a sustainable world”) is reflecting the urgent need of our global society to make use of the latest technological innovations to solve tomorrow´s challenges.  

When it comes to mobility, it is crystal clear that we need smarter, safer, and more sustainable transportation solutions. The question is no longer if our mobility needs to change, but how.   

#SustainabilitySpotlight Talk with Michael

To learn more about the “how” and the latest engineering solutions in the ITS sector, we spoke with Michael Venus, Head of Product Management for Urban Intelligent Traffic Systems at Yunex Traffic.  

Hi Michael, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Hi there, thank you for having me!  

What role does engineering play to tackle tomorrow´s mobility challenges?

Through innovation and advancements in technology, engineers can design and implement solutions that optimize efficiency, reduce emissions, and enhance safety standards. By leveraging engineering expertise, we can create a mobility infrastructure that meets the needs of today’s society while preserving the environment for future generations. 

Which new solutions are needed for the traffic management of tomorrow?

Before talking about solutions, I think it is important to take a step back and see how the overall approach to traffic management has changed. The challenges that lie ahead cannot be effectively addressed using the current paradigms of traffic management. Instead, a shift towards more intelligent, data driven responses tailored to specific challenges is needed. The intricate relationship between climate factors, urbanization dynamics, and technological advancements demands a comprehensive understanding of the entire transportation ecosystem. Isolated traffic management solutions are no longer feasible, considering the complex connections between mobility, climate, city life, and technology. When tackling the many challenges of traffic management, ranging from reducing emissions to getting infrastructure ready for autonomous driving, traffic managers used to resort to individual traffic management solutions. This fragmented approach does not only cost a lot of valuable time. It also neglects untapped potential. Today, we need a more holistic approach to mobility – that enables an interplay of various transportation modes.  

What does that mean for cities and the way they manage their mobility?

While cities used to buy standalone traffic management systems and use them for the next 10-15 years, today’s paradigm has shifted towards a platform-based approach. We can see this development all over the world. Cloud based traffic management platforms are always up to date and can be dynamically expanded with new capabilities and management features – just as the dynamic changes in our world demand. By connecting traffic management data points in a single platform, traffic managers and decision makers can quickly respond to situations and manage the traffic based on customized needs. Less emissions, less congestion and more reliable mobility options will improve the commute experience for citizens and ultimately increase the quality of life in metropolitan areas.  

Are such platforms already available?

Yes, they are! Our platform Yutraffic Symphony enables cities of all sizes to solve their individual traffic challenges in one place – from urban traffic control to multimodal traffic management. Yutraffic Symphony supports operators to make better and more sustainable decisions, from simple tasks such as monitoring and maintaining field devices to complex solutions such as traffic management involving environmental data, simulations, or even connected vehicles. 

So, the platform approach means that cities of all sizes can implement various solutions for their individual challenges, but have all relevant information in one place?

Yes, that is correct. They can select pre-built solutions and adjust them based on their individual needs, so that at the end of the day each city has a customized approach.  

Are there further solutions in place cities should be aware of?

Yes! Plenty of them! In our GoGreen portfolio we offer a broad range of customized solutions that help cities and traffic operators minimize the environmental damages and air pollution caused by road traffic and preserve the quality of life in our cities for generations to come. The set includes solutions to save energy of traffic infrastructure, strengthen greener modes of transport, reduce emissions and improve air quality. Let me give you a short and rough overview:  

#1 Saving Energy: Our solutions to save energy, for example, help cities to reduce their traffic infrastructure energy consumption by up to 80% and thus save costs as well as CO2. The solutions include our 1-Watt-Technology as well as Retrofit Technology.  

#2 Strengthen sustainable modes of transport: Furthermore, we have answers to increase the comfort, safety, and reliability of greener modes of transport, such as public transport. With these advancements, we motivate people to switch from high-emission (or high-energy intensive) to low-emission (or low-energy intensive) modes of transport. For example, when it comes to prioritization options with V2X. Our V2X technology connects different vehicles to the city infrastructure, giving priority to public transport vehicles such as buses and trams that share the right-of-way (ROW) with private cars. Infrastructure-side Roadside Units (RSUs) and vehicle-side Onboard Units (OBUs) can, for example, communicate in real time to trigger a ‘green wave’ for dedicated vehicles along critical corridors, reducing travel times and avoiding delays or grant a green light to cyclists enabling them to ride through the city quickly, safely, and with as few stops as possible.  

#3 Reduce emissions and improve air quality: Through our traffic management central systems, we can influence the traffic situation and help cities reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions. One of these solutions is our Environmental Traffic Management (ETM) system. Our ETM solution provides our customers with all the information, data and tools they need to manage and optimize their traffic flow for the benefit of the environment. In this system, real-time traffic and environmental monitoring, traffic anomaly detection, air pollution forecasting, and interrelationships between traffic and air pollution are combined to allow the orchestration of traffic strategies in a way that foresees and reduces local pollution hotspots. These strategies may additionally reduce travel time, individual fuel and energy consumption, and, thereby, emissions.  

In the last months, we have seen many great examples around the globe. The German city Wiesbaden, for example, relies on our Environmental Traffic Management (ETM) system. This system integrates air quality measurements and the detection of pollutants such as NO2 and PM, weather, and traffic data to recognize and forecast traffic patterns. Operators then use this forecast and powerful simulation tools to evaluate traffic strategies and proactively prevent congestion and pollution hotspots. Road users receive recommendations on speed and road use via dynamic traffic signs. The result: less congestion, smoother traffic and: fewer emissions. 

Thank you so much for sharing this great overview with us!

Most welcome! 

We make tomorrow start today!

Visit us at Intertraffic 2024 and learn how to #unlocktomorrow with innovative, technological solutions. We are ready, are you ready, too?