Reference article:

Quoting below IBM’s prediction # 3 (out of 5) on innovations that will change cities in the next 5 years

Cars and city buses will run on empty
For the first time, the “E” on gas gauges will mean “enough.” Increasingly, cars and city buses no longer will rely on fossil fuels. Vehicles will begin to run on new battery technology that won’t need to be recharged for days or months at a time, depending on how often you drive. IBM scientists and partners are working to design new batteries that will make it possible for electric vehicles to travel 300 to 500 miles on a single charge, up from 50 to 100 miles currently. Also, smart grids in cities could enable cars to be charged in public places and use renewable energy, such as wind power, for charging so they no longer rely on coal-powered plants. This will lower emissions as well as minimize noise pollution. IBM and the Denmark-based EDISON research consortium are developing an intelligent infrastructure to enable the large scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy.

This is what I would like to add to enhance the concepts detailed by IBM.

Let us convert all Smart City Transportation to On Demand Modules. Let me explain this concept. Each type of transportation module (be it a 1,2,3 , 4 or 8 wheeler or even a levitated no wheeler) will be an addressable node on the grid.

We will be able to do the following with the module

  • Diagnostics for equipment failure to optimize uptime
  • Remote guidance using GPS, Smart Sensors and rickshawWallah (software concept to be detailed below)
  • City residents can use their cell phone to have on demand service
  • Address sub components for maintenance and repair

rickshawWallah  (software)

  • This runs on a cell phone
  • User has to register with service using residential address, office address and other touch points as required
  • User will have Transport Insurance and will have a nominal copay per use billed automatically through cell phone number.
  • Software will help user schedule trips and give running stats on time of arrival etc.
  • Software will schedule the transport using GPS and embedded nails on roadways

Advantages of on Demand Transport

  • Optimize power use by sizing transport to demand (Smart Transport)
  • Essentially this will work like a Smart Grid
  • Optimize resources so that the City does not have to build the system to cater to peak load but can intelligently establish an average load by rescheduling schools, offices and others.

What we will ultimately have is a completely automated transport system running on renewable energy sources as well as being a profit generating center.

The system will be usable by both enabled and disabled city residents.

Of course a lot of this will breed development of intelligent software and hardware which in turn will increase the economic prosperity of the city, community and country.