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Microsoft Industry Blogs

This year at Smart City Expo World Congress 2018, Microsoft will join global leaders to share innovative solutions focused on the digital transformation of cities. This is the second in a series of blogs about how Microsoft provides the intelligent services and trusted platform for partner solutions that empower cities to be more secure, prosperous, and sustainable.

Approximately 55% of the world’s inhabitants currently live in urban areas, and this is expected to increase to 68%—more than 6 billion people—by 2050. In direct correlation, the number of cars on the road is projected to more than double to over 2 billion by 2050, further exacerbating crowding and traffic concerns. As cities grow and become more densely populated, urban planners face the challenge of ensuring citizens have affordable, sustainable transportation options that meet their needs. This will put significant pressures on cities, which already consume about 75% of global primary energy, yet must determine how to keep millions of citizens moving via both public and private transportation.

Fortunately for today’s citizens, the future of urban mobility has never been brighter.

Imagine a world where autonomous vehicles travel the streets and highways. Cities connect citizens to multi-modal forms of transport, such as trains, buses, and ride-sharing, with intuitive journey planning and payment systems. Rich data from smart infrastructure, transportation networks, and connected vehicles will empower city planners, transit agencies, and other urban leaders to make progress in urban mobility for generations to come. Cities will have the capability to adapt in real time to traveler preferences and build dynamic fare models, as well as proactively manage infrastructure and vehicle traffic flow by anticipating issues before they occur and identifying emerging trends.

This smart mobility future is becoming more of a reality as cities and urban leaders turn to digital transformation.

Microsoft’s vision for enhancing urban mobility

Microsoft and its partners are developing cutting-edge technologies that empower cities to establish intelligent transportation networks and optimize urban mobility for citizens—and it all starts with data. Solutions from Microsoft and its partners help cities build smart infrastructure by connecting billions of IoT-supported devices at the edge on a secure platform that extends from the silicon to the cloud. 

Once connected, this vast network of devices empowers cities to generate the rich data required to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and uncover insights they can use to take action. By aggregating IoT and location data while utilizing secure cloud technology, cities and transit agencies can use AI to identify congestion and reroute traffic, alert citizens to parking options, ensure consistent transit vehicle operation with predictive maintenance, and develop programs to incentivize transit use. They can even improve smart energy management by optimizing electrical vehicle charging with data gleaned from smart grids.

Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform, supported by industry-leading partners, utilizes data to take cities to a new level of urban mobility. Telematics and predictive services improve the driver experience using telemetry data to deliver predictive maintenance notifications. Consumers can stay connected with in-vehicle conference solutions, productivity tools, and intelligent personal assistant support. Advanced driver assistance systems increase safety and performance by delivering road and environment data to the driver or autonomous driving system in real time, all while utilizing location services and data to navigate, search, route and improve travel time.

Partners are already helping cities reimagine transportation with our powerful technologies

Microsoft partner Cubic Transportation Systems is a leading integrator of payment and information technology that connects more than 38 million commuters and travelers globally every day, processing 24 billion transactions annually. Cubic builds intelligent solutions on a versatile platform for mobility management, with a focus on transportation agencies in cities responsible for managing road networks and public transportation. Cubic works to create the easiest ways for citizens to travel and pay with Microsoft, taps into the cloud to securely manage data, and supports the flexibility and scalability customers need to respond in a constantly changing environment.

Microsoft’s partner PwC is another great example of what the future of smart cities could look like. Their capabilities span the diverse needs of modern cities and their citizens across urban mobility and through infrastructure, data, analytics, as well as collaborative planning and public safety. As a professional services industry leader, PwC worked with the province of Ontario to unite 11 transit agencies via PRESTO, a program that helped citizens travel more efficiently through the system with one payment card. By taking advantage of Microsoft’s powerful, scalable data platform and Power BI visualizations, PwC empowered the province to convert analytics into a decision and action platform and make the changes (like in payments) that customers wanted.

Connect with us at SCEWC 2018 to learn more about enhancing urban mobility in your city

Microsoft delivers leading-edge technology for creating intelligent cities and redefining urban mobility.  Learn more about how Microsoft and its partners, such as Cubic Transportation Systems and PwC, are creating a more mobile future for tomorrow’s citizens.