In response to the demands of the post-pandemic transport sector, The American city of "Long Beach" launched a partnership between the public and private sectors to develop transportation technology systems and adopt a smart system to manage the city's intersections and traffic lights. With the aim of improving traffic and reducing the environmental impact of the transportation sector.
The need to devise smart, safe and sustainable ways to regulate transport has become an urgent priority for all governments around the world. Due to the demographic challenges the world is witnessing, such as the large population and the increasing trend towards urban life, and environmental challenges such as the impact of city emissions on global warming. Technology has emerged as one of the ideal solutions to address these challenges in the government of the city of "Long Beach" in the state of California, USA. She launched the Smart City initiative, which aims to employ data and technology as strategic tools to develop the transport sector and improve the lives of residents.
The vision of Long Beach adopts four main principles: The first is "equity" in providing services to all citizens without discrimination. The second principle is to "build trust" between the government and the public by ensuring transparency and privacy. As well as the principle of "refining local expertise and strengthening partnerships" with all segments of society, especially the private sector, Finally, the vision includes the principle of "flexibility" in responding to current challenges.
Within this vision, A project based on a partnership between the city government and private companies was launched, Among its most important shareholders from the government sector were the Ministry of Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Economic Development, The private sector was mainly represented by Mercedes-Benz's contribution to North American research and development. The partnership is also in line with the Long Beach Rapid Development Program. The program supports the efforts of city authorities to work with local companies in cutting-edge technology and civic impact and to find opportunities to enhance students' skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The project will start with a trial period of 10 months and includes several axes, A smart intersection control system will first be tested. And the installation of traffic lights that respond to congestion automatically, This is done in order to adjust the timing of traffic lights to ensure maximum safety at specific intersections in the city. In addition to studying and reporting congestion, The system will predict them in the future based on accident data and peak periods such as the start and end times of the school day, He will then use this information to reroute traffic by changing traffic light schedules and adjusting the waiting time at specific intersections.
As for the second axis, It will move towards providing information to improve future policies and decisions for transport and traffic engineering, A fleet of 50 smart vehicles will be deployed across the city, along with sensors and software based on artificial intelligence. They will all monitor traffic, record data in real-time and then transfer it to the smart system for analysis. Essentially, Vehicles will share data related to their location, This is a feature available in most vehicles equipped with navigation and positioning systems, But what sets the Long Beach City project apart is that the vehicles will share data with each other and with the city's infrastructure. To enable planners, engineers and decision-makers to use common data to accurately measure traffic congestion, As well as calculating the amount of emissions based on the type of vehicle and the distance traveled.
The third pillar of the project will focus on holding community workshops for Long Beach residents. Especially the youth and students. It is worth noting that this axis remains subject to public health developments in the city, In light of the safety measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, The authorities will face the challenge of holding limited gatherings under strict conditions that ensure the safety of participants. It will also focus on under-resourced communities to ensure equitable benefit.
In order to avoid any challenge related to security, privacy and misuse of citizens' data, Partners have committed to responsible use of data, This is a top priority for them. Private sector partners have committed not to share any data except for test vehicles with the necessary relevant notices and approvals, data that should be shared with third parties, They will be anonymized and so public that vehicles cannot be tracked individually.
As the project is still in the development phase, The site where innovations will be tested for the duration of the trial period has not yet been chosen, But at the end of this period, A more comprehensive assessment will be conducted, After exploring other challenges, opportunities and impact of the project to examine its wider applicability.
The predictability of traffic and the modernization of the road management system to adapt to it will contribute to saving the energy consumed by vehicles and traffic management devices together, which will have a positive impact on air quality in crowded urban areas, It will also make the transportation system more efficient and compatible with electric vehicles.
Through public-private partnerships, Long Beach authorities seek to put the city at the forefront of emerging transportation technologies. To enhance the skills of its workforce, And to underscore its commitment to building an ecosystem based on reducing greenhouse emissions. Besides, The project will provide students with numerous opportunities for learning and experimentation and provide case studies in the fields of "science, technology, engineering and mathematics", It will reflect the city's vision to adopt digital technology and build digital skills in the online world.