Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 8

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Driving Smart Cities Forward
By Lindy Norris, Director of Marketing Communications, New Flyer of America
Following the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this past January, public transit suddenly became the darling
of North American fascination. Why? Smart Cities.
Defined by the global Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, a Smart (Sustainable)
City is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality
of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and
future generations with respect to economic, social, and environmental aspects.
In North America alone, more than 82% of people live in
urbanized areas, and by 2030 the world is projected to have 41
"mega-cities" with more than 10 million inhabitants. Smart Cities
of the future connect business sectors (smart mobility, smart
energy, smart buildings, smart retail) with the Internet of Things
to provide a seamless consumer experience in our communities.
With a very real threat of urbanization choking existing transportation infrastructure, "Smart Mobility" creates safe, clean,
efficient and connected multimodal transportation system -
combining mass transit, ridesharing services, biking, and walking.
New Flyer is committed to leading collaboration, cooperation,
and the technological advancement of Smart Mobility.
As the concept driving highly automated, connected, and data-driven communities, "Smart Cities" use sophisticated technology and advanced analytics to help city planners operate cities
in a more predictive and increasingly responsive way, working in
collaboration with the private sector to operate and maintain city
infrastructure that supports an increasingly on-demand lifestyle
in urban centers.
At a moment in time where the need for Smart Cities is equal
parts opportunity and crisis, the average person has started to
grasp just how significantly the daily commute impacts quality
of life for most North Americans, and also how increasing traffic
congestion and pollution affect the world in which we live. During
CES, Smart Mobility, which includes the automation of vehicles
and innovation in public transit, came to the forefront of the
conversation.
The importance of advanced technology and human ingenuity
was echoed by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, whose
address at CES focused on innovation. Secretary Chao reiterated
the role autonomous vehicles will play in revolutionizing transportation, and further entrenched the Department of Transportation's role in cultivating innovation by eliminating obstacles to
development and integration of new technology. Subsequently,
she announced the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) release of automated vehicle requests for public comment,
soliciting input from across the transportation industry to identify
barriers to innovation and help shape initiatives.
The announcement marks a clear evolution in the USDOT's
approach to innovation, and underscores the importance in the
investment, research, and development of technology in transportation. If America is to execute on the vision and intention for
Smart Cities, development of technologically sophisticated transportation is vital. All stakeholders in the transportation industry

(and beyond) stand to gain from collaborating on development,
and can shape the future of America through investing in autonomous technology, advanced analytics, innovation, and related
connectivity and infrastructure development.
In October 2017, New Flyer of America celebrated the grand
opening of the Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC) at its Anniston
facility in Alabama. As the first and only innovation lab of its kind,
the VIC is dedicated to advancing bus and coach technology in
North America to serve the Smart Cities of the future. Through
ongoing delivery of interactive experiences and collaboration
with industry leaders, the VIC features a world-class manufacturing lab, exhibit space, and training areas to:
Explore and advance bus and coach technology through
sustainable research and development, fresh innovation,
progressive manufacturing, and bold thinking;
Foster dialogue through discussion, education, and training
on the latest zero-emission, connected and autonomous
driving vehicle technologies;
Engage learning through current and interactive exhibits,
simulation and hands-on experiences, and observations;
Generate energy and commitment to clean air quality, safety,
and economic benefits for people, communities, and business; and
Harness the positive influence of collaboration, environmental stewardship, and social change to advance smart mobility
solutions.
The VIC is a hub for public private collaboration and exploration, with respect to zero-emission and autonomous vehicle
technologies that can and will power our society forward. Indeed,
2018 will illustrate the convergence of multiple sectors to innovate
and power the next several decades of public transit. Ultimately,
we can expect emergence of unlikely partnerships to power and
support an increasing on-demand lifestyle of North Americans.
These partnerships, an approach coined "co-opetition" in light of
competitive advantage, will further dynamics already in motion
by the likes of Ford, Lyft, and Dominoes, who have come together
to offer Smart Mobility solutions on demand via autonomous
vehicles.
While public transit often comes second to headlines about
the latest in Apple technologies, Smart Cities have never been a
more newsworthy topic. North American brand movements like
Amazon's HQ2 [venue] search catapulted the need for Smart
Cities, as its 2017 contest sparked public interest (and subsequent
city mania) for the "perfect city" to play host to its new headquarters. With over 238 places bidding for HQ2, the Wall Street
Journal reported bold promises by cities, tackling everything from
traffic to housing in hopes of luring Amazon's 50,000 jobs and
minimum $5 billion investment in infrastructure development.
But, it cannot operate in a city anything less than smart, and the
pressure is on for all urban centers to step up their game.
New Flyer's Vehicle Innovation Center is a venue where collaboration amongst industry stakeholders will drive bus and coach
technology towards our collective vision of Smart Mobility within
our communities. As a pioneer of industry "firsts" on many occasions over recent decades, New Flyer has no intention of slowing
down as the Smart City of the future becomes reality.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9

Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 1
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