Urbanisation is the buzzword of current population trends. More and more people want to live in the city, as there are usually good public transport connections and a wide choice of bars, restaurants and shopping facilities. At the current time, more than half of all people worldwide have already decided to settle in an urban environment and take advantage of the seemingly unlimited opportunities. But what are the implications of this trend?
According to United Nations statistics, nearly 70 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050. In light of this urbanisation process, numerous improvements to urban infrastructures are expected, including digitization as a whole, refined planning practices, and generally better management of living spaces. However, every event naturally has some impact. Already, many challenges associated with the pattern of global urbanisation described above are expected to emerge and should be addressed accordingly in the near future.
One of the critical impacts of the population shift toward urban areas is the current lack of sustainability. The widespread use of vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel will decline in the long term. Cars powered by traditional fuels are proving to be less and less efficient. This is due not least to the high cost of the fuel itself. According to the Kantar Group's "Mobility Futures" study, the overall use of regular cars will decline by 5 percent over the next 10 years. At the same time, car-sharing options and the use of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as e-bikes, are expected to steadily gain popularity. Despite their obvious environmental benefits, the new types of vehicles will pose a traffic problem due to their expected rapid diffusion and increased use. It is very likely that the problem of traffic congestion will not disappear anywhere, but the overall road traffic situation will at least become less polluting in the future.
Considering the mobility patterns of the future urban areas, we cannot ignore a promising sector, namely air mobility. The transportation of people and goods by drones is one of the most discussed topics, which has an excellent technological basis and clear development prospects. A number of pilot projects are already being actively developed in a number of countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Singapore and also in Germany. It is only a matter of time before drone deliveries are introduced worldwide and become part of everyday life. According to experts, by 2050, around 150,000 autonomous drones would be deployed in the airspace of metropolitan areas worldwide. However, cutting-edge innovation also brings new problems. Pilotless devices, in particular, must rely heavily on their communication systems, which brings the possibility of interference. This could lead to collisions of drones with each other, with ground vehicles, and with some man-made or organic obstacles, occasionally causing problems for air and possibly road traffic.
Innovative advances are not standing still and will change transportation and infrastructure in urban areas much faster than anyone realises. But they do not seem to drastically reduce the problems of road congestion. On the contrary, the commercial conquest of airspace introduces additional variables into the equation of the current traffic situation. Accurate identification of moving objects, including users on the ground and in the air, is an important area of activity to manage traffic. Not many solutions can be used holistically and flexibly adapted to cover areas that are hard to imagine today.
ROADIA keeps an eye on urban development and continuously adapts its solutions to new developments, so that traffic becomes safer and safer, bit by bit, today and in the future.