The Future of Smart Mobility

Abstract: SMART-FM Principal Investigator Professor Moshe Ben-Akiva was invited as a keynote speaker in the Smart Mobility Expo held at Seoul (Korea). He was interviewed last week to discuss about smart mobility. Professor Ben-Akiva spoke in-depth with JoongAng Ilbo (English Translated: The Central Times) about the transformative mobility options, how innovations are evolving the transportation sectors and beyond.

Prof. Ben-Akiva said, “The need for real experiments rather than excessive regulations will contribute significant progress on transportation”. “It is not long until we take driver-less buses. The operation of driver-less buses will provide accurate and flexible public service by bus operators. For this point, it is important for the government to foster the environment allowing various testing within the concept of a ‘Living lab’. Singapore is a good case example that adopted feedback from the users based on recent tests in the testbed covering public roads. Korea also needs to introduce ‘Living lab’ to make progress in Smart Mobility”.

The following is a translated version of the interview:

Q1) Why the ‘Living lab’ is an important solution for the excessive regulation?
The transportation area is closely related to people’s life hence we need to look more closely at which factor and how it affects the daily activities of citizens. The excessive regulation would be reduced with several feedbacks between the travelers and policies.
Q2) The regulations are necessary for safety and security. What do you think?
Information on transportation and mobility is in the private sector. However, this essential information will help to develop future transportation system(s). Moreover, concerns about privacy violations should also be regulated.
Q3) What is ITS?
It is an integrated transportation system with information and communication technologies. There are two main types of public transportation. One is traditional services that operate with fixed schedules and routes and the other one is demand-responsive services such as car-pooling, shuttle buses, and various types of taxi service. By combining ICT with different services, we can make more efficient public transportation system and provide a more accurate real-time information.
Q4) Does ITS include the automated driving?
The AV technology is a key area in ITS. The public transportation will be the first place where AV technology will be applied. The automated buses will be operated with an accurate schedule and the fleet will be managed in a flexible way.
Q5) What does the high-dense city like Seoul need to do?
The congestion pricing would be a good option, which charges different pricing over the time-of-day and locations. The objective of this policy is to assign traffic over the network for the congestion reduction at a system level. The pricing can be determined with the various measures of ITS, and I believe in the potential of congestion pricing in Seoul.
Q6) Is there any case that successfully introduced congestion pricing?
Singapore has introduced congestion pricing a long time back, and this is one of the reasons why my research group is studying in Singapore. In addition, London is reviewing this policy now. In US, New York City will initiate this policy in Manhattan soon, however, the current plan is limited to expand to the entire city because of political interests.
Q7) Seoul seeks to transform current city into “Pedestrian oriented city”. Would Smart Mobility violate the pedestrian rights?
It would be difficult to prevent accident occurrence, so it is important to guarantee safety and sustainability when introducing Smart Mobility.

You can read the full news article in Korean below:

Source (중앙그룹): 과도한 규제보다 실생활 공간에서 실험해야 교통 혁신 가능해