Smart energy drives smart transportation

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By Shamik Mehta


Transportation is one of the fundamental building blocks of our society, and it’s only getting smarter. In simple terms, smart transportation refers to the huge array of data collection points that transmit data to centralized collection and processing systems, either on a city or national level. Smart transportation utilizes new technology and existing—and increasingly electrified—infrastructure to provide the data necessary for improvements.

This processed data can then deliver real-time and long-term insights into how transport networks are being used, allowing responsible public bodies to upgrade and maintain infrastructure. The data can also assist the private sector in the integration of new technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles.

Changing how people move

These intelligent transportation systems have the basic goal of improving how transport works for people in terms of access, comfort, cost, and speed. 

Here are some examples of how smart transportation is changing how people and goods move:

  • Autonomous trucks carry products cross-country between producers, warehouses, and retailers.
  • Public bicycle schemes that allow users to locate, pick up, and drop off rental bikes through a smartphone app.
  • Smart traffic management that uses real-time data and smart cameras or LiDAR systems to adjust traffic lights and lane usage to improve traffic flows.
  • Ride-sharing companies that analyze demand data to assess user needs and adjust pricing.
  • Vehicle notification systems and intelligent braking that uses sensors and geo-location data to reduce accidents.

Smart energy: Fueling the smart transportation revolution

For smart transportation and its various technologies to have the greatest impact on our lives, close collaboration is key. Smart energy is about creating a “cost-effective, sustainable and secure energy system in which renewable energy production, infrastructure and consumption are integrated and coordinated through energy services, active users and enabling technologies.” 

As countries around the world look to phase out internal combustion engines over the next decade or two, electric vehicles for both private and public transportation are steadily becoming the norm. This is great news for utilities as it will mean greater demand for energy production. But it also presents significant challenges in terms of the infrastructure necessary to power all smart transportation.

How data brings smart energy and transportation together 

The solution to creating the technology and infrastructure that will help smart energy power the smart transportation revolution is better use and understanding of each other’s data. By improving integration between smart transportation and energy, both will be able to evolve and have a greater positive impact on user experience and their own business fundamentals.

The potential of data to improve how smart transportation and energy work together has been recognized by some of the world’s biggest public bodies and private multinationals. Speaking at a McKinsey Global Institute event, Rachel Haot, Executive Director of New York’s Transit Innovation Partnership, stated that “(d)ata is perhaps the largest opportunity that we have to have an outsize impact for a relatively small investment.” Similarly, Chris King, Siemens Chief Policy Officer for the Digital Grid, has spoken of how they are putting big data to work in asset and network analytics to improve “grid control, grid applications, grid planning, and analytics”.

Examples of data exchange between smart transportation and energy:

  • DigiKoo is a German tech subsidiary of one of Europe’s biggest utility companies. It collects and shares data on energy infrastructure and electric vehicle (EV) demand to improve roll out of EV charging stations.
  • Solar canopies at taxi ranks in Scotland improve energy provision without impacting availability.
  • Matching public transport to real-time demands to reduce energy waste and improve speeds.
  • Smart parking systems that use built-in sensors to update maps on where parking spaces are in a city. One such system, SFpark, reduced cruising in search of on-street parking spaces by 50%.

The challenges to data collaboration

Though the benefits can be huge, sharing data between public and private organizations, as well as between transport and utility companies is not that simple. There will always be major concerns with regards to where data is stored, what it is used for, and how it is protected. 

To satisfy these concerns and ensure continuous trust and security during the collaboration of potentially hundreds or thousands of smart transportation and energy organizations, trusted data exchange platforms—like the Intertrust Platform—need to be created.

The Intertrust Platform facilitates organizations who need to be able to securely collaborate with many partners in the collection and processing of data. With this highly protected data exchange platform, project data can be guarded by strict governance rules which allow for fine-grained access control and provide advanced privacy protection. 

The Platform also improves interoperability between data sets originating from different sources and formats. It facilitates secure, isolated workflow environments for governed datasets to be operated upon by multiple authorized parties, without data being moved or copied. This focus on the safe exchange and protection of data removes a burden of responsibility from project participants while also giving them complete control over who can access which data, smoothing the process of collaboration.

To find out more about how Intertrust’s data exchange platform is improving collaboration between all stakeholders in smart transportation and smart energy,  get in touch with our team.



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About Shamik Mehta

Shamik Mehta is the Director of Product Marketing for Intertrust's Data Platform. Shamik has almost 25 years of experience in semiconductors, renewable energy, Industrial IoT and data management/data analytics software. Since getting an MSEE from San Jose State University, he’s held roles in chip design, pre-sales engineering and product and strategic marketing for technology products, including software solutions and platforms. He spent 6 years at SunEdison, once the world's largest renewable energy super-major, after spending 17 years in the semiconductor industry. Shamik has experience managing global product marketing, GTM activities, thought leadership content creation and sales enablement for software applications for the Smart Energy, Electrified Transportation and Manufacturing verticals. Shamik is a Silicon Valley native, having lived, studied and worked there since the early 90’s.

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