How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam

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This man is fighting traffic jams with big data

How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam-overcome

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Jose Castillo is an architect and urban planner, he teaches at Harvard University, among others. For the Audi Urban Future Award he has …

Source: Audi

How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam-smartphone

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… with his team a solution for the permanent traffic jam in the Santa Fe office district in …

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… found Mexico City. The people should act as so-called data donors and …

Source: Audi

How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam-traffic

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… report via smartphone when and where you want to go from which starting point. Then you will be suggested how to get to your destination with as little traffic jam as possiblecan.

Source: Audi

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In addition to Mexico City, Boston was also represented in the competition. Urban planner Phil Parsons investigates for the …

Source: Audi

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… Somerville district, how to use the available space more effectively. In addition to dynamic road user charges, he also relies on …

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… that cars will soon be able to park without a driver. That would cut the space required for parking garages by half.

Source: Audi

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The most futuristic suggestion came from the Berlin team: people sit in autonomous cars at the stops of the train, which bring them precisely to their destination. These cars …

Source: Audi

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… but don’t necessarily have to look like cars. The team around the architect Max Schwitalla takes care of the connection of a new district, which is on the site of the heuTegel Airport, which is still in use, is to be built.

Source: Audi

How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam-People share their data voluntarily

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The competition participants from Seoul took the Korean peculiarity of being constantly online via smartphone as a starting point and concluded that …

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How the smartphone should overcome the traffic jam-People share their data voluntarily

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… the cars should definitely drive autonomously in permanent traffic jams and, moreover, have to be completely networked in order to be able to maintain permanent contact with other drivers.

Source: Audi

Everyone uses their mobile phone to tell when they want to go where, and the cloud then makes suggestions on how to do it most smoothly. This idea is now being implemented, it comes from the worst city in the world.

JNow the privacy advocates have to be very brave: in the future, all drivers could be asked to put important personal information online: namely where they are and where they want to go. And of course when it starts.

By disclosing this information about yourself, you prevent the traffic blackout, because people then drive at different times, choose different modes of transport or join together in carpools.

At least Jose Castillo is certain of that. He is currently introducing such a data acquisition system in Santa Fe, a district of Mexico City that is extremely congested and, according to IBM’s Commuter Pain Index, the worst congestion city in the world. For his idea Castillo and his team won the Audi Urban Future Award.

Audi defines the research topics

This award has existed since 2010 and is awarded every two years. Already now, the third time, it can be seen that the envisaged solutions are more practical. At the beginning, some architects even showed their visions of new cars, recalls Audi boss Rupert Sadler. "We said: ‘Assume that we can do it at least as well." "

What Stadler expects from the unusual campaign is know-how. Not necessarily in technical disciplines, but rather about the coexistence of cities and cars. “The discussions don’t make you more stupid,” says Stadler. And that’s an understatement.

The four research projects in each competition are co-determined and supported by Audi, each team has an Audi expert at their side, be it a designer or an electronics engineer.

“That’s why the projects that didn’t win here don’t just disappear in a drawer,” as Christian Gartner, the curator of the award, says. “We will continue to work with all teams.” Some ideas might just need to mature a little. Like that of the Berlin team.

Autonomous driving for everyone

The architect Max Schwitalla has teamed up with a neurologist and an elevator control expert to come up with an incredibly futuristic project. Basically, the point is that people do not have to walk the last mile between the underground or S-Bahn station and the office, but neither should they clog the streets and block parking spaces with their own cars.

Based on the expectation that the new Berlin airport will actually open one day and that a science center will be built at the location of the current airport in Tegel as planned, Schwitalla and his family thought about how to connect this new small town district to the metropolis.

The solution is a train station about a kilometer away. Once there, the commuters get into the stand-by autonomously driving cars that already know the destination of the individual passenger. First they drive in a convoy – when they arrive in the new part of the city, they split up and bring everyone to their individual destination.

Up to this point, Schwitalla’s presentation was fascinating – because it was realistic. Because the cars will actually gain new self-employment in the next few years. “The successor to the Audi A8 will come around 2016 and will have piloted driving on offer,” says Rupert Stadler.

Cars communicate with traffic lights

But the Berlin architect spanned the period until 2035 and brought rolling cylinders into play, which offer space for exactly one person and, if necessary, can also be coupled in twos or threes. So the jury decided in favor of the Mexican big data project.

"Berlin was too visionary, but you have to allow that," says Stadler. “Mexico was the most pragmatic and the furthest in terms of data analysis and the commitment of other partners.” The other partners include the city administration, the transport service Uber and the IT giants Apple and Microsoft.

Because only if not only the cars are networked with each other, but also the municipalities and other companies see themselves as part of an overall solution, can something develop in terms of improving the flow of traffic. That is the lesson from the competition and Audi itself naturally wants to suck honey from it.

The VW subsidiary is currently the only company that develops cars that communicate with traffic lights and learn how long the red phase lasts or how fast you have to drive so that the green wave is not interrupted as far as possible.

Autonomous cars first in the US

If the first pilot projects with autonomous cars are to come, it may well be that Audi, with its special commitment, already has its foot in the door.

As things stand, such experiments can first be expected in American cities – there mayors can grant extensive exemptions. And even if the European developments of ceramic brakes and LED headlights are not currently approved in the USA, the Americans have a heart for driverless cars.

In the Boston competition entry in particular, there was a lot of talk about piloted parking. Project manager Phil Parsons says that cars that look for a place in the parking garage without their driver need 50 percent less space – which would also lead to smaller parking garages.

Anyone who asks when such solutions will be started will get specific answers at the Audi Urban Future Award: “The mayor of Boston absolutely wants to start,” says Stadler.

"People share their data voluntarily"

And Jose Castillo, the winner, says that his project in Mexico City is already in the pilot phase. 14,000 data sets have already been collected since September, and effects should soon become noticeable.

“People voluntarily share their data in order to lose less time in traffic,” says Annegret Maier, head of the data intelligence department at Audi. “They believe that their data can be used to create efficient traffic planning. But it is also clear to us: When people donate data, they also have the right to have the resulting data platform available to the general public. "

For a car manufacturer there is of course another advantage: the better the traffic flows, the less people question the car itself.

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