Transportation & MobilityMarch 28, 2023

Planning for Smart Cities and Future Mobility

Avatar Minming CHEN

This post has been contributed by Aik Hock Ng – Director, Cities and Public Services, Asia Pacific South, Dassault Systèmes.

The rate of urbanization in the Southeast Asian region reached 49% in 2018 and is projected to reach 56% in 2030, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Globally, by the middle of the century, about 70% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas.

Increased urbanization will eventually cause a strain on mobility. Moreover, this urbanization trend will lead to an increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions, with the transport sector alone consuming a quarter of the energy produced in the region.

The density of traffic in ASEAN cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Hanoi not only increases energy consumption but also leads to reduced productivity, lower air quality, decreased quality of life, and higher noise pollution.

“The urban challenges in Southeast Asia call for the implementation of smart city and future mobility solutions in the region on an urgent basis.”  

Today, it is imperative to study the impact of future mobility on smart cities and how smart cities can address the challenges of future mobility. The key issue is that the existing Asian transport infrastructure is not built to cope with existing and future traffic in the region.

Solutions to the region’s traffic congestion should be built for sustainability, considering the vast challenges of climate change. To cope with the growth in traffic, it is also essential to build a sustainable energy grid that can support the ideal conditions for future mobility.

EVs and AVs as future mobility solutions

Electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs) are two mobility options that are widely considered when thinking about future mobility solutions for Southeast Asia.

“It is important to note that EV battery technology is evolving at such a pace that batteries are becoming cheaper, smaller in size, and faster to charge.“

More importantly, EVs are increasingly able to last longer distances on a single charge.

EVs bring about the crucial question of how to build and improve the charging infrastructure for such vehicles in Southeast Asia. It is important to optimize the charging infrastructure so that cities do not overinvest or overbuild charging infrastructure, nor underbuild it.

Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative virtual twin platform helps model a city in 3D to create its virtual twin. Urban planners can use this virtual twin to measure, design, and analyze the accessibility of EV charging stations in such a city, taking into account factors such as distance, population density, and existing infrastructure. 

Through virtual twin technology, urban planners and automobile manufacturers can optimize the EV charging infrastructure. The multi-scale virtual twin can also provide organizations with the capability to conduct micro-level analysis of the accessibility to plan, design and analyze, at the building level, how specific vehicles and people can access charging stations and charging points.

Moreover, virtual twin technology can also be used to develop battery cell constituents, model system behavior, assess structural integrity, and evaluate thermal management strategies.

With technology advancements, there arises the possibility of adding autonomous vehicles (AVs) to the future mobility mix. A land transport authority in Southeast Asia told us that AVs are preferable to ordinary vehicles because accidents in the region occur mostly due to poor human judgment and human fatigue, and AVs are prone to making fewer such errors.

The AVs of today are only one part of the smart city and future mobility matrix. While the current AV is essentially a supercomputer fitted with sensors to sense the environment, the environment itself is not yet “smart”. The future smart city will have smart traffic lights, smart lamp posts, and smart bus stops fitted with signal emitters to emit signals back to the AVs. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology will enable AVs to communicate with other vehicles, infrastructure, and the network. 

“Dassault Systèmes’ virtual twin platform helps simulate situations that an AV might face in a day-to-day road traffic scenario to calibrate its performance.”

The virtual twin platform can support the virtual testing of AVs, simulating the various operational ‘what-if’ scenarios. Our solutions can also simulate and understand how AVs will react in the proximity of traffic lights, emergency vehicles, and motorists and pedestrians who disregard traffic rules.

The simulation tests large amounts of data coming from IoT sensors and cameras, as well as multiple scenarios, including vehicle-to-vehicle and human-to-vehicle interactions. It can help test the vehicle for millions of virtual miles in a 3D virtual world. Virtual twin technology can reduce the time to market for AV manufacturers and help build confidence and trust with the public authorities.

EVTOL in the near future

In the future, we may see the emergence of Electric Vehicle Take-Off and Landing (EVTOL) in ASEAN cities. This will add a layer of complexity to the infrastructure that city authorities will need to manage in their smart cities. City authorities need to be confident about the safety of passengers who travel at low heights in the air within the city environment. 

Urban authorities also need to consider the locations of the take-off and landing as well as the route of flying. Future smart cities will have to be built with consideration for EVTOL as another mode of transport for residents.

In the context of EVTOL, the virtual twin technology can support the infrastructure planning for Skyport. Moreover, the technology can help in the design of eVTOL in achieving higher performance taking into account of noise, propulsion efficiency and power consumption.

“With virtual twin and simulation, companies can predict vehicle noise levels over the entire flight envelope and assess how the vehicle will be perceived in complex urban environments.”

In addition, the use of virtual technology coupled with simulation can validate the structural integrity under different loading conditions and predict vehicle response to potentially catastrophic events such as bird or lightning strikes, sudden wind shear and heavy rainstorms.

Sustainable Energy for Urban Infrastructure

The city of the future is one that is not only built on a sustainable energy grid that supports EVs and future mobility adoption, but also helps to reduce carbon emissions.

Building a sustainable grid as the lynchpin of the smart city and future mobility strategy should now be a priority for regional governments to lead to a resilient and more livable future.

Dassault Systèmes can help cities to become more sustainable through our solutions for the energy transition.

#SmartCity #Transport #FutureMobility #ElectricVehicles #AutonomousVehicles #VirtualTwin #TransportInfrastructure #VehicletoEverything #ElectricVehicleVerticalTakeOffandLanding #V2X #EV #AV #EVTOL

Stay up to date

Receive monthly updates on content you won’t want to miss


Register here to receive a monthly update on our newest content.