Smart Home

How IoT could improve public transportation

IoT technology has changed our day-to-day activities. It has given us the opportunity to better understand our habits, to “theoretically” have more control over what is going on in our homes through smart doorbells and cameras, but to also automatize processes and services for enterprises.

GPS technology is now paving the way for an upgrade in public transportation, as urban mobility can efficiently be improved through smart planning and smart routes. Big cities in the US, such as San Francisco and Washington DC, have already implemented modern technology and are using the big data collected to better understand their residents’ practical needs and to provide fast, frequent service.

For example, by featuring digital information screens, USB charging ports and Wi-Fi on bus fleets in New York City, the data gathered and analytics will help “change the commuting experience” by reducing costs and investing in further developing the service, among others. Nearly 8.7 million daily riders can check emails, work or log in to social media accounts for free.

“Today’s world demands connectivity, and we’re meeting that challenge with state-of-the-art buses and a major overhaul of the MTA’s fleet. This upgrade will create a stronger, more convenient and more connected mass transit system for years to come,” said New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.

“Internet access has become a necessity, not a privilege– and from charging ports to Wi-Fi, this new MTA fleet will provide critical tech services that New Yorkers depend on each day,” added Mayor Bill de Blasio.

However, not all public transportation users are so into the latest high tech facilities, says a survey conducted by TransitCenter at national level. According to this research, service frequency and travel time ranked first as the most important aspects of daily travel, followed by station and stop conditions, real-time information and reliability. Although many funds are spent to implement the latest tech on public transport, regular riders don’t make much of this for now.

Apart from riders’ lack of excitement, there’s also a question of what will happen to the data collected from almost 8.7 million people in New York alone. More importantly, how will it be used and how easy will it be for a third-party to hack into the system and steal it? It’s no longer a secret that web browsers and smartphone apps are the typical entry points for hackers to get into an IoT infrastructure. Officials haven’t yet addressed such matters.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.