Safer and more sustainable mobility thanks to AI | Opinion

Safer and more sustainable mobility thanks to AI | Opinion
Safer and more sustainable mobility thanks to AI | Opinion

Today, no one doubts that artificial intelligence will change our lives. However, for some sectors, this future is already a reality. AI-based solutions are already being incorporated into transport infrastructure management, which, in addition to facilitating operations, improve safety, experience and reduce the impact of the carbon footprint.

Smart mobility is an urgent and necessary initiative…

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Today, no one doubts that artificial intelligence will change our lives. However, for some sectors, this future is already a reality. AI-based solutions are already being incorporated into transport infrastructure management, which, in addition to facilitating operations, improve safety, experience and reduce the impact of the carbon footprint.

Smart mobility is an urgent and necessary invitation to rethink how we move around in a more sustainable, safer and more efficient way in the use of scarce resources. To achieve this goal, it is essential to have economic resources that provide the sector with these new technologies. It is estimated that investment in AI in transport will reach around 5.5 billion dollars by 2030. These investments will promote the optimization of traffic management, the development of autonomous vehicles, predictive maintenance of vehicles and the increase in smart infrastructure initiatives.

Additionally, investing in safer and more forgiving roads must be a priority area of ​​focus to reduce accidents. We must rebel against the current reality, where road accidents are responsible for approximately 1.1 million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (of which about 20,000 are in the European Union and more than 150,000 in Latin America). The good news is that the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) estimates that a global investment of just about $200 billion to improve road infrastructure could reverse this trend and prevent more than two million people from dying or suffering serious injuries as a result of road accidents this decade.

On the other hand, the implementation of intelligent systems together with the use of AI in road infrastructure would have the possibility of reducing deaths in road accidents by more than 30% each year, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Examples include the use of applications that issue immediate accident alerts, even before drivers call emergency services, or robots that detect and analyze road faults in real time. This allows for reduced response times to deal with emergencies, as well as reducing accidents by identifying areas of the road where urgent maintenance is required to avoid accidents.

Security is one of the most important variables that influence the user experience, but it is not the only one, as users demand a higher quality service every day, as well as new services. Prioritizing optimal infrastructure maintenance, as well as adequate traffic management, are two additional factors that positively influence the user experience.

Today, by analysing historical data, AI can predict user mobility trends and needs. For example, the A35 Brebemi in Italy and the Circuito Exterior Mexiquense in Mexico, two of the roads operated by Aleatica, use an internally developed data analysis platform to define mobility patterns. This helps to improve knowledge of the expected flow of vehicles at toll plazas at certain peak times and, therefore, allows for appropriate sizing of the workforce and minimising the risk of congestion.

In addition, the analysis of weather and road accidents allows the evaluation of the conditions and performance of the pavement, and thus measures can be taken to mitigate risks and optimize future maintenance costs. This system is fed by various sources of information such as mobile phone positioning data (GPS) and information on all transactions recorded on the motorways.

These tools have the ability to process a large amount of data – both historical and real-time – on traffic patterns, and simultaneously propose measures to manage and distribute road travel efficiently. Let us also remember that less road congestion translates into lower fuel consumption and, therefore, lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

As global transport infrastructure operators, we must take advantage of these technological innovations, prioritising the appropriate use of AI. In this way, we will be able to more effectively address the current challenges of road safety and emissions mitigation, as well as optimise the experience of our users. The commitment to smart mobility is the way to offer our users a high-quality, safe, sustainable and efficient smart infrastructure.

David Diaz Almazan He is the global CEO of the infrastructure operator Aleatica

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