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Crowd support to enhance smart mobility

The Smart Cities Mission of the Indian government aims to develop at least 100 cities around the country in to smart cities. Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems, the two technologies that will enable the smart city dream, still in nascent stages and require enormous efforts from researchers and engineers to set up the framework for such cities. Scientists are now looking to use crowdsourcing as an effective measure to collect the data and effectively implement certain smart applications. Researchers from the Transportation Research Board are now exploring using the crowd to create better smart transportation. The researchers developed an Android app and a web portal, which allows users to view, create and maintain mobility related data. The researchers conducted an initial three phase study of the tool inside the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay campus, where participants were given a survey after each phase. The feedback obtained from the surveys directed future developments of the system. The surveys also allowed the researchers to explore the effect availability of data had on the behavior of users. The new system has already proven its worth with a reduction in a user’s waiting time in bus stops. The availability of data allows the user to better schedule his trips while also prompting efficiency from the public transport sector. The users providing data and using the tool were found to do so due to a sense of social belonging and not due to any reward or recognition. The smart mobility system is a small part of the smart city initiative but one of the most important feature, and with the crowd participating, we can be sure of its effectiveness during implementation.