In 2002, the European Commission introduced The European Mobility Week (EMW). The EMW is the European Commission’s flagship awareness-raising campaign on sustainable urban mobility. It promotes behavioural change to encourage European cities to embrace eco-friendly transportation. This year’s campaign theme is centered around saving energy. How saving energy is connected to mobility you might ask. Sustainable mobility involves using energy-saving practices like greener transportation modes, public transit, shared rides, walking and cycling, smart transportation systems, and eco-friendly driving habits to reduce overall energy use and environmental impact in transportation.
However, the car is still the dominant mode of transport in the EU, with less than two persons on average per car. Enhancing comfort and convenience, more people can be motivated to adopt more sustainable forms of transportation.
Here are six examples of how intelligent technologies can lead to more sustainable, energy saving journeys – starting today:
#1 Smoother ride with public transport
Public transport holds great potential in reducing energy consumption, but scepticism about its reliability persists. Forbes highlights delays and long waiting times as key deterrents. And this is where our intelligent communication technologies step in helping to increase reliability:
Our V2X technology connects different vehicles to the city infrastructure, giving priority to buses, ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks, for example. Roadside Units (RSUs) and Onboard Units (OBUs) playing together can trigger a “green wave” for dedicated vehicles in the traffic management center and reduce delay times that way.
#2 Pedaling with ease and efficiency
Especially in cities, using the bike has become increasingly popular – and that’s good: cycling is fast, healthy, and climate-friendly. And it requires no additional or little energy when electric bicycles or e-scooters are used. Thanks to our V2X technology, cyclists can conserve their energy, too – allowing them to ride through the city quickly, safely, and with as few stops as possible.
The YuBike app, for example, helps cyclists to ride on a as many green waves as possible and reach their destination faster. It works as follows: A cyclist approaches an intersection. There, the cyclist passes the trigger line. The traffic management center evaluates the data and activates the traffic light control to switch to green if possible. The cyclist can pass the intersection safely without having to stop and start pedaling again.
#3 Supporting the shift to greener energy when using the car
Electric Vehicles (EVs) play a crucial role in improving air quality. Concerns about range and charging infrastructure remain the most significant barriers for people to switch from petrol vehicles to e-vehicles. Yet, just setting up new charging points will not be sufficient. There needs to be an entire ecosystem working together – simple, fast, and easy to manage.
To tackle these challenges, service partners supporting charge point manufacturers are crucial. Our team is here to support manufacturers and charge point operators with end-to-end services for every phase of their charging point’s life – from initial consultancy, planning, and design to installation, servicing, and operating and finally decommissioning and replacement. With the right partners, we can jointly support electrified mobility by ensuring that the infrastructure is expanded and operational to its full extent.
#4 Think holistically about saving energy
When we talk about sustainable mobility, which means not only protecting the environment by reducing CO2 emissions but also saving electricity, we need to look at the city infrastructure, too. It’s not just the vehicles that use power, things like streetlights or signal stations also need energy.
Our 1-watt and retrofit technology for traffic lights can save energy and reduce emissions at the same time. With our 1-Watt Technology, we help cities and communities around the globe to reduce the energy consumption of their road infrastructure by up to 80% and thus save tons of CO2.
#5 Real-time information for more sustainable decisions
Mobility is as diverse as the people who use it. Commuters need connected and quick information to foster more sustainable decisions of traveling from A to B, ideally in one place. Nowadays, many apps are giving recommendations of available transportation options. Digital platforms such as the Multimodal Mobility Platform of our subsidiary VMZ set the ground for these urban multimodal mobility services by connecting various real-time data.
Another way of making mobility more convenient is to provide reliable information about journey options at transport hubs such as airports, railway stations, or public stations. The VMZ Mobility Monitor can change this by providing comprehensive information about transport in one place, facilitating intermodal travel.
#6 Breathing easy: saving energy to combat air pollution
Traffic congestion and air pollution are part of everyday life in cities worldwide. Through our intelligent traffic systems, we can influence the traffic situation, help saving energy and thus influence and reduce air pollution in our cities.
One of these solutions is our cloud-based Environmental Traffic Management (ETM) system, which lets us target and optimize traffic flow. In this system, real-time traffic and environmental monitoring, detection of traffic anomalies, air pollution forecasting, and interrelationships between traffic and air pollution play together. By combining these building blocks, ETM allows the orchestration of traffic in a way that reduces energy, travel time, individual fuel consumption, and, thereby, emissions.
In Wiesbaden, Germany, our intelligent traffic control system is already in place, ensuring cleaner air. It measures pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, links weather data or traffic density and recognizes traffic types, such as cars, bicycles, or pedestrians. Road users receive recommendations on speed and road use via dynamic traffic signs. The result: less congestion, smoother traffic, fewer emissions. Everyone reaches their destination healthier, safer, and faster.
Let’s do this together!
As we gear up for a more sustainable future, let’s use #MobilityWeek as a springboard to make our daily routines greener. The journey to eco-friendly mobility is an exciting adventure we can all embark on together.