Gulf Traffic 2017 – Where Smart Cities Find Intelligent Parking Solutions
“Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country. The city of Dubai is located on the emirate’s northern coastline and heads the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. Dubai will host World Expo 2020.
Much of Dubai’s real-estate boom is on the Jumeirah coastal belt. Port Rashid, Jebel Ali, Burj Al Arab, the Palm Jumeirah and theme-based free-zone clusters such as Business Bay are all located in this section. Dubai is notable for sculpted artificial island complexes including the Palm Islands and The World archipelago.” (Wikidpedia.org)
This past December 2017, I attended the Gulf Traffic Conference, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The theme of the conference was Innovation, “Where Smart Cities Find Intelligent Solutions.” The three-day conference took place in the Dubai World Trade Center with the exhibit hall packed with companies from the Middle East and Europe.
Some of the exhibiting companies you may recognize were Transcore, Scheidt & Bachmann, Cleverciti, Nedap and Q-Free. Intertraffic Worldwide Events was present, as were our friends from the Parking Network.
There were many companies from China present, most of them traffic and technology focused. The largest and most elaborate booths belonged to the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Abu Dhabi Police and Dubai Police. Veltrans Transportation System and Services’ booth was especially busy. This Dubai-based company was presenting the launch of their new system called Parkonic. Parkonic was developed in the UAE and Veltrans said that it delivers faster entry and exit times out of parking facilities while reducing carbon emissions. Veltrans’ chief information officer Azhar Mahmoud told me that “At its core Parkonic is an artificial intelligence engine integrating various proven technologies.”
At the Transcore booth, the talk was road infrastructure, ITS system and dynamic pricing. Transcore showcased various projects from around the globe and the USA, one being deployment of Phase 1 of the Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program in California. Another was cashless road tolling at nine New York bridges and tunnels. With Dubai expanding at the speed of light, and its challenges with traffic, Transcore offered myriad solutions to ease congestion and make traffic flow easier.
With cities focusing on
becoming smart cities…,
learning and sharing ideas are the very foundation of the future.
Throughout the three days of the conference, Gulf Traffic offered educational seminars. Day one was focused on Smart Mobility. One of the packed presentations was by Dr. Vincent Bourquin or the University of Applied Science, West Switzerland. His presentation was titled “Applying fractal design, autonomous vehicles and e-mobility in planning last-minute transportation.” Bourquin said that transport has two dimensions, time and space. He demonstrated how digitalization affects both. He talked about the trend in the connection of vehicle to vehicle (v2v) yet, how V2I, that is Vehicle to infrastructure, is being ignored. He also noted how the car-sharing economy has positive effects on congestion. He presented data supporting his stand that public transport is more expensive than individual ownership transport.
Day Two’s focus was Parking. Luigi Carrarini, Head of ITS’s ANAS unit, presented “How Expo Milan 2015 created efficient parking.”
How can these lessons from Milan be of use with parking at the Expo 2020 in Dubai? He expanded greatly on the future of parking and how to create parking that can be converted for other uses. Another presentation by Engineer Shafia Ali Alkheyali, a Civil & Development engineer in the UAE, Ministry of Infrastructure Development, focused on rest areas development. The UAE has created multiple rest areas on their federal roads. They are oasis-like spaces where travelers can take a break to ensure their safe driving on their trips. In 2015, UAE built 6 new rest areas equipped with EV chargers, car maintenance stations, restrooms and entertainment.
Other seminars of the Parking day were: “Assuring parking is an integrated component of transportation system and urban planning” and “Combining owner and end-user requirements for increased capacity and ease of use.” In the latter, one of the panelist presenting was Deon Bender, Director of Operations (MENA), Walker Parking Consultants. The focus of this presentation was mixed-used development, developer mitigating parking and walkable areas or walkable parking.
As with our Parking Industry Expo, Gulf Traffic Conference exposed the attendees to new products in transportation and parking, as well as an opportunity to network and to expand and share their knowledge. With cities focusing on becoming smart cities and Smart Mobility being an integral part of the smart city movement, learning and sharing ideas are the very foundation of the future. Thank you, Gulf Traffic, for creating a great venue for forward thinking. The future is now, and it starts with the new ideas we can consider and implement.
Astrid Ambroziak is editor of Parknews.biz. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org