smart city, smart cities, connected, urban living, sensors, autonomous vehicles, wi-fi, bluetooth

What does it take to be a “Smart City?”

We live in a world where everything is said to be smart. We have “smartphones,” “smart watches” and “smart cars.” The obvious next step in the evolution of smart is a“Smart City.” We define them as “smart” because of what is behind them, the technology behind them that connects everything. People, sensors, the internet.

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Autonomous vs. Assisted Driving: A Fork in the Road?

assisted driving

Drive-assist and autonomous cars have begun to emerge as very real possibilities for the market. Due to the thriving technology sector of transportation, we are being offered options that we have never had in the past. However, with great power comes great responsibility. The industry and its customers are now faced with the questions of “should we?” as opposed to “can we?”. We have the technological ability to do so much, but the world may not be ready.

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Smart Cities: Getting Stakeholders Involved

I remember sitting as a child and imagining what the future would look like. My vision was more along the lines of flying cars and no bedtime, but still… The technology industry is growing and developing solutions that would make that little girl jump for joy.

The name of the game today is connectivity and integration. Through the use of connected technology, it is widely believed that we will have the ability to fight the issues that face our world, such as global warming and human fatality. This wave of change has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is in the hearts of our cities.

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Vision Zero: A New Conversation

We hear about collisions all the time. They’re on the news, the radio, and on the streets of our cities. Fatal accidents happen frequently… and our reactions are usually quite similar.

“The driver was going too fast.” “The driver should have been more careful.” “The driver didn’t look before pulling out.”, we converse casually.

While yes, it is often human error that leads to the deaths of pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, the mindset must be altered.

A New Conversation

Vision Zero isn’t about changing as drivers. It is about changing as communities. In Vision Zero, the blame for road collisions is shifting away from the drivers. The overall concept is that human error will always exist, so communities must instead find ways to protect vulnerable parties on their streets, such as children, motorcyclists, and older adults. Vision Zero also wants to help those who have historically been seen as the threat, like distracted or aggressive drivers.

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Speeding: Getting Us Nowhere Fast

Whether we’re rushing to work or soccer practice, we are all familiar with the sense of urgency affiliated with being late. It’s stressful, so we look for any way to ease that, even if we aren’t actually doing anything productive. This includes yelling at our children, sprinting around the house, and speeding to our destination. Each of these things is done out of panic, not logic.

I introduce you to the time old question: IS SPEEDING WORTH IT?

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Ride-sharing: Old Ideas, New Tech

carpooling

How many times have you thought “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”? I’m not sure about the average adult, but I promise you the average mother says this approximately 1000 times a week (or at least mine did). Trying to balance children and the rest of your life is no easy feat, so the moms of the world had to innovate. I present you with daycare and pre-made fruit platters. In fact, I propose that mothers created carpooling.

Whether this is true or not, it is highly probable. They needed a simple, collaborative and efficient way to get their children around. There was a network of parents and plenty of minivan seats to go around. Most millennials grew up carpooling with their friends, neighbours or teammates. Now we want to make our mothers proud in the only way we know how… add technology and scale up!

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Uber: A Matter of Convenience?

UberIt has been a busy morning. Coffee in hand, you rush to the door. Your foot catches on the edge of your new couch. The couch that sticks out just a little too far…

Three months ago, you were sure that nothing could be worse than that ratty old couch. It was falling apart and always smelled a little bit like feet, so you jumped at the online sale. The company delivered it to your door and took your old one away. It was an easy solution to a problem that had gone on for way too long. At least that’s what you had thought… until you tripped over it the first time…

Your perfect new couch doesn’t fit in your living room, but it was cheap and convenient so you bought it. That’s human nature. Convenience is a sneaky thing. So frequently, we sacrifice the smarter choice for the sake of making our day a little bit easier. Don’t want to make dinner? Take-out. Don’t feel like going to the gym? Sleep in. Don’t feel like taking the bus? Grab an Uber.

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Bluetooth 5: Demanding a New Era of Traffic Detection

Bluetooth

The world of technology is forever changing. Though few would deny this, many fail to jump on board as the trends fly past them. In any industry, companies who are “set in their ways” risk losing everything in the blink of an eye. To mitigate this, it is important to focus on the future and meet changes with solutions. The introduction of Bluetooth 5 is no exception. Now, all we have to do is catch up…

Evolution of Bluetooth

1998: “Classic” Bluetooth technology was first introduced. The advancement shocked the world by eliminating the need for wires when streaming data between devices. Since its introduction, Classic Bluetooth technology has provided a robust wireless connection between millions of devices, encompassing everything from headsets all the way to navigation systems in cars.

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Costs of Congestion: The Environment

Environmental impact of traffic

For so many years, we lived in our own bubble. If it didn’t affect us, it didn’t concern us. We were told to keep our “noses out of other’s business” and so on. In today’s climate (no pun intended), that is no longer an option. We have to take action against the problems that threaten the world around us, otherwise there will be no world at all. One of the first places to look is directly around us: in our homes, communities, and cities. What do you see? If your area is anything like most cities and towns, you see traffic. A lot of traffic.

Air Pollution

As mentioned in our previous blog post, air pollution is incredibly harmful to people. We must also consider its harmful effects on the environment around us. According to an excerpt from the EPA, an estimated 27% of the yearly greenhouse gas emissions can be linked back to the transportation industry. While this number seems low for all of the traffic congestion that we encounter on a daily basis, it still deserves attention. CO2 especially is one of the major gases contributing to the pollution crisis, so every bit released into the atmosphere has a consequence. Read More