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Becoming more connected to overcome urban mobility challenges

By Kathryn Willson, Director, Microsoft CityNext, Worldwide Industry, Microsoft Corporation on November 1, 2017

Filed under Microsoft CityNext

Microsoft and our partners are working with city leaders around the world to help them make their communities more sustainable and resilient so that they meet the needs of today’s citizens and those of generations to come. One of the biggest sustainability challenges cities face is urban mobility. It seems to be in the news on a daily basis, with reports of traffic congestion and even gridlock affecting most major cities around the world. The prosperity, health and vitality of a community is directly related to how easy or difficult it is for people and goods to move through it. That’s why our Microsoft CityNext team and our partners are looking forward to talking to you about urban mobility solutions at the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), Nov. 14-16, in Barcelona.

Microsoft at SCEWC

Microsoft is proud to serve as a Global Partner sponsor of SCEWC again this year. We are coming with dozens of our CityNext partners, including Cubic Transportation Systems, Genetec and CGI. Our partners are harnessing the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to offer innovative, connected solutions that can help you address your most pressing transportation needs. Together, we will demonstrate urban mobility solutions that can help you optimize traffic flow and journey management, enhance parking and revenue systems, and efficiently operate your fleets and infrastructure. 

Experiencing a tangible, connected city example

We will also illustrate the incremental value afforded to communities that begin to connect urban mobility and city infrastructure solutions together. It can be difficult to imagine the benefits of connecting systems together, so we are bringing a tangible example. We are going to demonstrate new citizen experiences that come when connected cars meet connected city infrastructure. We’ll have two connected vehicles in our booth at SCEWC to help us illustrate how an intelligent city infrastructure can yield new benefits for public works, first responders, public transportation, health, education and commercial businesses, such as insurance companies.

A key to economic prosperity

With city leaders working to improve their economies and create jobs, urban mobility solutions enabled by more connected city infrastructure can help increase prosperity. An Arthur D. Little report on The Future of Urban Mobility 2.0 states, “By 2050, the average time an urban dweller will spend in traffic jams will be 106 hours per year, twice the current rate, with all that entails for the quality of life of the average citizen.” That means it will be even more difficult for people and goods to get where they need (and want) to be. As my Microsoft colleague Mike Geertsen wrote in this recent blog, “smart urban mobility solutions can help your city reduce congestion and energy use, get commuters home faster, and ultimately build a stronger economy and greener city.”

Join us in Barcelona

Microsoft and our partners look forward to helping cities literally connect the dots of addressing urban mobility challenges so please join us at SCEWC Booth No. C301 in Gran Via Hall 3. Until then—or if you’re unable meet in Barcelona—we invite you to review the first three parts of our urban mobility blog series below and contact your Microsoft account team for more information about becoming a connected city.

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