An aging transportation system is threatening to restrain globalization, as current systems are struggling to meet the needs of a highly urbanized planet in which the business of moving goods and people from one place to another typically generates toxic byproducts and lost productivity. Ground-breaking innovations in transportation technology are difficult for the current system to accommodate, and the system itself has yet to evolve to meet the changed set of fundamental needs and demands placed on it. Whereas the system has not yet completely gridlocked, there clearly exists a need for something that is smarter, more efficient, and better than what is in place now.
Frost & Sullivan believes that the answer is a new ecosystem that marries information technology to the global air, rail, road, and water transportation networks. The firm outlines the challenges, tactics and strategies to carrying out this new plan in a new white paper, A Smarter Transportation System for the 21st Century.
Frost & Sullivan believes that there are four fundamental factors that underlie the need to change the transportation ecosystem: a rapid population expansion, hyper-urbanization, globalization, and pervasive information and communications technology.
"The consequences and costs of an inefficient transportation ecosystem have both an economic and environmental impact," warns Brian Cotton, Ph.D., Vice President of Frost & Sullivan's Information & Communication technologies consulting practice and author of the study. Cotton will be discussing the findings of the research in "Smarter Transportation for a Smarter Planet," a virtual event hosted by IBM, taking place October 7, 2010, 12:30pm – 4:30pm ET. Cotton will be presenting along with leaders from IBM, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Transportation for America, Motorola, Total Resource Management, Regional Plan Association, and Zebra Technologies.
Current transportation systems are nearing their capacity limits, and a better system must be developed to adequately manage our interconnected world. Future transportation must be "smart" in that it needs to be able to not only react quickly to the demands placed on it, but also anticipate them. This new system should address four main challenges that are emerging from the current system:
1. Mitigating congestion and planning capacity
2. Empowering transportation system users
3. Ensuring safety and security
Given the adverse impacts that result from an outmoded transportation system, planners and strategists in all segments of the transportation ecosystem are creating more intelligent systems as a means to mitigate these problems and increase the value the system can bring. In order to implement any transportation system, requirements for both the physical as well as digital infrastructure must be considered.
In the smarter transportation eco-system, the physical and digital networks are interconnected to enable rapid sharing of data, control access as appropriate, and allow for feedback loops so the eco-system constantly modifies its behavior. The deeper the network penetrates into the components of the smarter system, and the wider the scope of the interconnection between components, the better it can address the users' imperatives.
"The key turning point for when any transportation system becomes 'smart' is when digital infrastructure is overlaid to interconnect and 'fill in' the downfalls that the physical infrastructure cannot avoid," explains Cotton. "Today, we are at a point where advancements in physical and digital infrastructure can work hand in hand, placing us in a prime position to develop smart, intelligent, and forward thinking transportation solutions."
To register for the Smarter Transportation virtual event, please visit events.unisfair.com/. If you are interested in receiving a copy of Frost & Sullivan's white paper, A Smarter Transportation System for the 21st Century, please send an email to Jake Wengroff, Global Director, Corporate Communications, at jake.wengroff[.]frost.com with the following information: your full name, company name, title, company telephone number, company email address, city, state, and country.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents.