14 de September 2020

Bogota is on its way to have a smart mobility

Smart mobility

In addition to the construction of the metro and mass transportation systems such as the Regiotram de Occidente and Norte, and the aerial cables of San Cristóbal and Usaquén, there is an increase in the use of technologies to improve connectivity, congestion and the experience of passengers in a Bogota that is increasingly moving towards intelligent mobility.

Smart movility

In the coming years, Bogota will have new transportation systems that will serve more than 13 million trips made on an average business day in the city. Along with this infrastructure, different tools are developed that will give Bogota’s citizens intelligent mobility. 

According to Juan Gabriel Perez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogota, an entity that has supported different international infrastructure companies to settle in the city and develop some of these ambitious projects, "Bogota has been betting on smart city development, seeking to become an example of it in the region. One of the greatest challenges in terms of mobility is how to apply technology to connectivity and to the transportation solutions to the city."

Mobility management through analytical video and machine learning

Bogota's transit management center, which currently monitors all the capital's mobility, will include 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytical video and machine learning in its tools. These resources, together with the growing network of smart traffic lights, vehicle and bicycle sensors, surveillance, and speed cameras, among others, will serve to develop predictive models that will help to know how the city will behave. 

With the efficient use of data, incidents can be addressed automatically, vehicle flow reduced, accidents prevented, air quality improved and mobility management according to demand at all times. 

Carlos Mateo, director for Latin America at Bombardier, a subcontractor for the Bogota Metro, says it is essential that the management center brings together all of the information of the means and modes of transportation in the city. In this way, users can have all the information they need to transfer from one transportation to the other quickly and efficiently. He also mentions, that this center will also need attention in the future, in an effort to keep it updated and it doesn´t become obsolete in terms of capacity and technology.

Electronic and unified payment

To access the Integrated Transportation System of Bogota there is a card that works for buses and for “Transmilenio”. The challenge for the coming years is to integrate these urban systems into the same means of payment with the regional systems of the Regiotram and other modes of transportation such as electric scooters. 

The goal is "for users of different transportation systems to be able to use a single card, a single device to travel through the city and to have a better travel experience," says Alexander Ricardo, head of the information and communications technology office at the Bogota´s Ministry of Mobility.

Big data to improve the user experience

Currently, Bogota has an agreement with the application Waze, which provides data of nearly 400 road sections of the city, and district platforms such as SIMUR with data on mobility in the capital. The vision for the coming years is to have more data in real time. 

"The biggest challenge in a Smart City is not data collection but the integration and connection of different subsystems," says Pere Francino, CEO of CityVitae, a leading company in mobility solutions. For this reason, the key of usage and management of data is integration with other entities such as the Planning Secretariat, the crane system, the emergency line, private micro mobility companies, among others, that allow the user a complete overview of the conditions on the road and an immediate reaction to any incident. 

In this integration, Bogota is clear that actors such as universities and startups are fundamental in the creation of innovative solutions for the city. As a result, Movilab is a space that will be created to be part of this new vision of mobility and to develop ideas together.

In addition to these technological tools, in order to create a true intelligent mobility, that is sustainable and has high standards of experience for the user, cooperation is needed between the different sectors and actors, which is also a challenge the city has at this stage of infrastructure mobility development. 

"We need collaboration between Bogota and the surrounding municipalities to achieve a city region with integrated public transportation systems (...) a collection system that is flexible, easy to modify, that the public sector can have full access to data and the ability to control the system´s evolution (...) we need the public sector to be responsible for defining standards that ensure communication between subsystems, and deliver a consistent user experience" , concludes Adriana Palacio, Consulting Manager of GSD Plus, a company of innovative solutions for mobility and transportation.