Why the Future of Transportation Is All About Real-Time Data
In order to tackle urban transportation challenges in cities around the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Research Foundation of Singapore launched a five-year cooperative project in 2009 — Future Urban Mobility (FM) — to look at new models and technology tools aimed at sustainability. The FM team is one of four interdisciplinary research groups that are part of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre, or SMART Centre. FM is developing SimMobility, a simulation platform where researchers explore transportation, environmental impacts, energy and land use and the activities of individual travelers in the mix.
Some of the projects of FM include autonomous driving — as in, cars that drive themselves — and simultaneous research is being done in the areas of vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication looks at applications for both safety and information retrieval.
Applications are being developed so your car will get information about the location and intentions of vehicles in your vicinity, contributing to the process of autonomous driving. Vehicle-to-infrastructure projects are less safety-related and more focused on traffic operations, including the possibility of your car receiving information from traffic signals regarding data like when an upcoming stoplight will turn green. With this data, you can adjust your speed and slow down without having to stop at the signal, thus reducing stop-and-go traffic movement.