May 13 2019
Can Digitalization of Traffic Management Systems Solve the Traffic Congestion Problem?
Why do cars stand in traffic jams?
In real life, there is no way to get rid of traffic jams. Congestion is the reverse side of the increase in welfare, as there won’t be any traffic jams where the vast majority of the population cannot afford a car. Another thing is that the concept of "congestion" in different cities varies: what is a critical situation in Munich, in Istanbul is just the opposite. If we talk about cities in Russia, then the problem can be handled by increasing the cost of using personal transport. However, the traffic situation will not drastically change. In New York, for example, impressive progress has been achieved in terms of traffic management, but traffic jams have not disappeared yet.
One of the reasons is the extremely low density and length of the road network in Russian cities compared to European and even Asian metropolitan areas. At the same time, as shown by the American experience, the construction of new roads does not solve, but exacerbates the problem. Therefore, the world trend now is to stimulate the development of public transport and cycling infrastructure.
Large cities suffer from traffic jams more often. This is due to a large number of cars among residents, as well as the need to ensure the operation of urban and municipal transport, not to mention pedestrian traffic. Another cause of traffic jams refers to architectural miscalculations. For example, when after the Second World War the cities of the Soviet Union were rebuilt, none of the architects could have imagined that just in half a century the number of motor vehicles would increase significantly.
But even now, architects often have no idea how to solve congestion problems.
The key cause of transport problems is the ambiguous town-planning policy that allows building multi-storey buildings both on the outskirts and within the city limits. At the same time, the issues of transport service of these territories are not solved at all. A possible solution to the congestion problem can be a complete change of the paradigm of both urban development and population mobility.
In the transport industry, much hope lies on the concept of “Mobility as a service”, which is leaving personal transport in cities and sharing different types of transport (from scooters to cars and buses) using a single digital platform. Theoretically, this should unclog the road network due to a significant reduction in car fleet and a sharp decrease in the need for parking spaces. However, if the urban planning policy in our cities does not change, even the best practices of transport system management will not save us from traffic jams.
How is it possible to get rid of congestion?
In addition to planning urban infrastructure, traffic jams can be dealt with in different ways. For example, adjusting traffic flows wisely, taking into account the time of day, the traffic situation, and other factors. Traditionally, cities use a common traffic control system with signs and traffic lights. Signs are a passive way to slow down the flow in some places, speed up in other places and thereby minimize the risk of traffic jams. As for traffic lights, they work according to special algorithms that are controlled by a special traffic management service. Previously, experts of this service used to set up a special program for traffic lights that allowed them to work independently. Now the traffic is a network of traffic lights that can be controlled by changing parameters remotely.
Experts believe that we should take an integrated approach to solve the problem of traffic jams. They say that it is not necessary to single out a separate task of managing traffic in a modern metropolis. The goal or task can be formulated much more widely – it is the most effective satisfaction of the transport needs of the citizens. And it should be solved in a consistent manner, where the transport planning issues are solved at the first stage. At the second stage, methods for the implementation of transport correspondence are developed that take into account these links: for example, public transport or individual transport. Next, what public transport is used: rail, road, street/off-street transport. And only at the very last stage traffic control and traffic management technologies are used for one of the segments.
Examples of problem solving
Experts believe that only technical tools can’t solve the problem of traffic jams. Management technologies are de facto in the second place.
Solutions to traffic control and traffic management issues depend on the method of solving previous problems. And there are different approaches:
- aimed at the predominance of individual transport
- aimed at the development of transport infrastructure
- or vice versa – to control the use of individual transport and the development of transport infrastructure in downtown areas with a focus on pedestrian or light transport.
Any country, any government and authority engaged in the organization of transport services for the population, first of all, needs to position itself depending on two factors. The first factor is the position of the city in terms of the growth of motorization and the level of use of individual transport. The second one is the mentality of its citizens. For example, the mentality of Europeans implies a greater development of foot traffic, ground passenger transport, and the mentality of people in Asia, partly South America, involves the use of multi-level solutions, underground space and minimizing open pedestrian traffic in city streets.
Why is there no packaged software for traffic management?
It would seem that for many years of dealing with traffic jams, it was possible to develop a universal software and hardware solution. City officials would love to buy a packaged software to fight traffic congestion, with a set of, say, sensors, traffic lights and cameras. But, unfortunately, such a solution simply does not exist.
“ There are no such solutions, and they cannot be developed. The thing is that there are no universal cities in the world. Each city is different in architecture and transport. Accordingly, it is difficult to offer some kind of technical solution that absolutely suits everyone. Even today, when we say that artificial intelligence can process large amounts of data and, in fact, manage urban traffic, it is impossible to train one artificial brain for all cities. In each case, it will be necessary to train AI on the example of specific streets and traffic flows”, believes Dmitry Parshin, Artezio technical expert.
City streets represent a huge database. But you need to transfer it to a digital form so that computer systems and artificial intelligence can analyze it. This requires sensors and a single "smart city" system.
Cities will become smarter, and what about roads?
The idea to integrate smart solutions into urban infrastructure is not new. For several years, large companies have been developing them to automate the management of urban systems. For example, in the UK, on separate tracks, sensors are installed under the roadway. They allow traffic operators to monitor the load on the road. The system is called Midas or Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signaling.
Another unusual solution describes a patent that was issued by Ford. It utilizes the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for traffic management. In fact, we are talking about encouraging driving behavior on the road. For example, a driver will receive a reward in the form of cryptocurrency for driving on a road section at a given speed. You can earn a bonus for a certain driving manner or close attention to drivers of other vehicles. Ford suggest introducing “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass System” ( CMMP). It should monitor, record, and evaluate the drivers’ behavior.
Another auto giant Volkswagen has gone even further. It intends to develop a quantum computer for analyzing the traffic situation. According to Engadget, a quantum computer will replace current traffic patterns developed by supercomputers.
Data on the road load is collected via video cameras or motion sensors – based on the number of cars that crossed a certain line. Sensors are needed primarily for data collection, but the information from sensors still needs to be processed and, a decision needs to be taken whether to turn on/off the traffic lights, block the entrance or, on the contrary, open new lines for transportation. However, experts believe it would be better if it’s not the roads or cities that will get smarter, but the transport itself.
Unmanned vehicles, "Internet of vehicles"
“ Indeed, unmanned vehicles are an elegant solution to all problems of urban traffic,” believes Vladimir Krylov, the professor of mathematics, Artezio AI expert.
“ Undoubtedly, outstanding success of AI is demonstrated in the support of fourth-level self-driving cars (not requiring driver attention). Today unmanned vehicles are already a reality. I think that the next step of introducing AI into the transport area is the development of transport systems based on mobile vehicles and environmental objects that exchange information: traffic signs, traffic lights, bridges, structures, road sections. No other technology except for AI can be a solution for coordinated and secure maintenance of such systems. By the way, the general name of this development direction is Connected Vehicles ,” says Vladimir Krylov.
The use of unmanned vehicles and the system of connected objects in the road environment will radically change the traffic situation. We will soon be using "Internet of vehicles", similar to the " Internet of things" where devices freely exchange information among themselves.
By the way, the other day Ilon Mask introduced a special chip that will accelerate the production of self-driving cars. By 2020, a million cars will receive a full-fledged unmanned mode.
Artificial intelligence will be able not only to control traffic lights, but also redirect traffic flows, and flexibly change the load on the road network. After a few years, the problem with traffic jams can finally be resolved.
Apr 29 2019
How Acceleration of Data Transmission Channels will Affect Business
What is behind the change of generations?
The 5G technology has suddenly become very popular, it is discussed by equipment manufacturers, telecom operators, and even ordinary users. The interest in changing the ordinal number in the communication generation has never been so high. For example, the very first generations – 1G and 2G were not perceived as a technological breakthrough. Even 3G that allowed mobile operators to compete with traditional Internet providers for data transfer speed did not make as much noise as 5G.
“ Everyone quickly forgot about 4G, although the potential of this technology has not yet been revealed. We already have a high data transfer speed, but there are no large projects that would use it. A new standard was introduced and used for downloading movies and music. Now we are waiting for 5G to come. We act like consumer addicts – we always want new sensations. In case of the mobile Internet – new speeds, although we are quite happy with everything,” notes the technical expert Dmitry Parshin.
Increased attention to 5G may be the result of aggressive marketing policies of equipment manufacturers. They are particularly interested in selling more operator and user devices with the support for the new format. Moreover, a change of generations is an opportunity to significantly increase sales, both of carrier and client equipment.
The mobile infrastructure has also changed due to the installation of 4G-enabled hardware and software by operators. That is why, each new generation of communication offers not only new speeds and opportunities for manufacturers of hardware and mobile chips, but also an important tool for updating the demand in competitive markets.
Marketing communications operators also stand behind the change of generations. The data transfer speed that 4G provides today is quite sufficient. But the transition to 5G will take place anyway.
Of course, ordinary users and businesses will benefit from the generation update. It is believed that the 5G standard will be one of the main technologies in the digital economy. Experts say that the revolutionary transition to 5G lies in the fact that new generation networks are created not only to meet such human needs as real-time video transmission in 4K and 8K resolutions, virtual and augmented reality services, but also for smooth operation of unmanned vehicles, providing machine-to-machine communication (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT), telemedicine, and other important software and technical developments.
The main technical difference between 5G and 4G is the high data transfer speed and minimal network delays (ping).
In the test zone of the 5G network in Innopolis, there were delays of around 1–3 milliseconds, while in the network of the previous generation the delays reached 50 milliseconds. This is a very critical indicator if we talk about services and equipment that should provide the fastest possible response in the network. These include unmanned vehicles and equipment used in the field of telemedicine.
Now there are many innovative solutions in the world that are implemented using 4G, for example, smart city technologies, digital healthcare, intelligent security systems, unmanned vehicles, etc. And the introduction of 5G will bring these technologies to a new level. The data transmission speed will increase significantly, the transmitters will start working without interference, it will be possible to “isolate” networks using each of them for Internet of Things, video broadcasting.
When the IT industry is on the threshold of the 5G era, several important tasks arise for market players at once – to identify scenarios for using this technology and form a mechanism for generating additional income at the expense of its benefits.
Analysts analyzed possible scenarios based on requirements in bandwidth and latency, and identified four types of peripheral computing for which 5G will be used:
- Virtual reality and smart cities
- Intelligent security systems and power systems
- Augmented Reality, Smart Retail
- Digital healthcare, autonomous cars, and intelligent transportation
The massive transition to 4G networks is not happening yet due to a number of constraints, among which are the fact that users have a large number of obsolete subscriber devices that the operator has to support in order not to lose these subscribers. 4G networks are currently at the peak of their development and are able to provide comfortable services for most user scenarios. But as we look to the future in 2-3 years, the needs for those services that only 5G networks can provide are already visible. Of course, it is better to start preparing for their introduction already now.
It is believed that 5G should be developed for the future. Due to the increase in data transmission capacity, the development of IMT-Advanced standards and, further, 5G will lead to a significant development of the Internet of Things. From IIOT we will go to full-format IOT. As a result, a mobile phone can turn into a control panel of everything that surrounds a person in his daily life.
Imagine an employee coming to work by his car. The video surveillance system recognizes the car number, sends a signal to the barrier through a dry contact – the barrier opens up. Having parked, the employee decides to go to the VIP-zone, where only management personnel and high-ranking guests have access. The facial recognition module, combined with the access control system, compares the face of the employee with the top management – the access is denied. The employee walks through the territory – the helmet detector sends a signal to the mobile phone of the security chief.
It turns out that the employee walked around the territory without a helmet, violating safety rules during working hours. The employee’s suspicious behavior attracted attention of the security service, and now, thanks to the PTZ cameras spread across the territory, you can see the man even in the farthest corners. It turns out that the employee goes to those places where he is not supposed to be.
The module of the left objects worked – the employee secretly left a box in one of the shop floors. Urgent notifications are sent to mobile phones of the security staff. Already on the run, the chief of the security service is commanding the doors to be closed, notifies the shift supervisors, and calls emergency services. After a couple of minutes, it turns out that the employee checked emergency preparedness on the instructions of the director,” says Vitaly Teplyashin.
When will 5G be enabled?
The problem with the new generation of communications is that people are waiting for it more than it is ready for a mass market entry.
The fifth generation of mobile communications is already being tested in many countries, but so far, telecommunications operators are not in a hurry to introduce the new technology widely. Telecom operators are not entering a new era for several reasons. Firstly, they all invested heavily in the 4G technology, and secondly, to build the necessary infrastructure for 5G in our large country will require serious resources and new investments. In addition, such a project will increase operating expenses, which logically should lead to an increase in prices for communication services, which is not beneficial for companies in the light of high competition among market players.
Now, residents of many countries need extensive and high-quality coverage with the 4G technology, which is clearly not sufficient outside large cities. At the same time, without a doubt, it can be argued that within 5-10 years, 5G networks will be widely distributed and will bring new usage scenarios that will be useful to a large circle of consumers.
Experts believe that the first network of the fifth generation will be introduced in small countries. Indeed, in a large country, building a network of a new generation will be more difficult than in Africa or the small kingdoms in Europe. It's all about spending because in order to cover large areas, significant investments are also required.
Does business need 5G? Everyone answers this question positively because the volume of transmitted traffic is constantly growing as well as consumer requests. Today, cloud technologies maintain high-definition and ultra-high-definition services. But soon we will observe mass transfer of content of even greater resolution and volume.
Company information Artezio
Since establishment in 2000, Artezio has completed over 1000 projects for its international corporate customer base. The time and effort of the most experienced developers is also invested in R&D activities, including but not limited to AI, ML, and blockchain.
As a senior-level technology company we continuously strive to gain expertise and stay on top of the curve of innovation.
Our competences include:
- Enterprise application development
- Business process automation software based different BPM engines (Activiti BPM, jBPM)
- High loaded based SOA system development using both whole JEE stack (CDI, EJB, JPA, JSP, JSF, JMS, SOAP, REST) plus related frameworks(Spring, Seam) and whole .Net stack (ASP.Net MVC, WPF, WCF)
- Portal solutions based on Liferay Portal , Sharepoint WSS/MOSS, WebLogic Portal, WebSphere Portal
- Integrations solutions using ESB (OSB, Oracle ESB, IBM WebSphere ESB, JBoss ESB), Spring integration, MSMQ, eMule
- System based reporting Jasper, BIRT, Pentaho, SQL Server Reporting Services
- Large, distributed systems and highly-scalable network servers using GoLang
- Cloud based solutions (Azure, Amazon)
- Big data related technology
- Database analysis and BI (Pentaho, Oracle BI)
- NoSQL databases (Cassandra, MongoDB, CouchDB)
- Search engines (Elastic search, Apache Solr, Sphinx)
- Intellectual Data Processing (Apache Lucene, Apache Mahout)
- Distributed Compilation (Apache Hadoop, Apache ZooKeeper)
- Mobile and web development services.
At Artezio do not believe in "one-fits-all" solutions, so individual approach, proven Agile-based customer collaboration frameworks, flexibility of the development process, and MVP delivery model ensure that Customers always get the product which meets market requirements.
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Key figures Artezio
Mr. Dmitry Rodionov
Deputy MD/Chief Operating Officer (COO)
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Custom Computer Programming Services (541511)
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Computer Programming Services (7371)
Can Digitalization of Traffic Management Systems Solve the Traffic Congestion Problem?