With availability of new and accurate location data and technology, the mobility industry will start thinking of a vehicle as a machine to an IoT device
By Megha Yethadka
Ever walked into a supermart and had to push the trolley through five aisles to make it to the bag of flour you came for? That’s location intelligence at play. Most large supermarket chains place items and supplies strategically, so as to make you walk through several aisles, exploring more products and buying things you didn’t plan to buy. The result is obvious—higher sales.
Now, imagine location intelligence being used to study trends across cities, assessing particular pockets and the time of the day when demand for transport is highest. The data is used by planners and mobility companies to strategically place transport options at the right time at the right place. Technology-powered mobility companies leverage petabytes of data to assess demand, supply, road closures, and offer customised routing to better estimate and minimise time and travel between locations.
The future of mobility will pivot on five themes—multimodal, shared, autonomous, connected, and eco-friendly. The use of location intelligence is key in making all five areas function at optimum efficiency. New developments in location data should be considered in conjunction with the developments in other sectors—connectivity, autonomy and energy. With precise and accurate location data and technology, the industry will start moving from thinking of a vehicle as a machine to an IoT device.
Location data being stored and interpreted by programs will also allow governments to better plan smart cities of the future. Better planned cities would also mean seamless multimodal transport would be a reality. One could ride a shared bike to a transit station, take a train to an interim destination, from there take a shared ride to the final destination. One of the key levers to enable a seamless experience through this multimodal journey is better location intelligence.
Several auto manufacturers, too, are using location intelligence to develop advanced driver assistance systems, which are also the foundation for developments in autonomous vehicles and even flying vehicles. Maps are currently consumed in two dimensions. Adding more precision and easy connectivity to transfer data helps build more efficient routing. Imagine enabling trucks to travel a path that has a lesser gradient or imagine better prediction in supply chain mobility needs. The use of better location data provides more efficient data on faster routes for pickups and drop-offs.
Through the pandemic, and the various containment zones created to isolate Covid cases, location intelligence has been crucial to reroute vehicles, thereby reducing exposure for drivers and riders. Traffic compliance is another area that uses location intelligence by means of providing information on speed limits. This tool is also beneficial for planning bodies to better ascertain speed limits for particular stretches.
Location intelligence technology is also a step towards user convenience. We all have faced challenges when looking for a spot to park our vehicle. Imagine location intelligence, paired with connected vehicles, guiding you to an available parking spot in your township without you having to drive around every block. The next few years will see location intelligence being leveraged to make life simpler, save time and resources, while also increasing operational efficiency for progressive companies.
The writer is senior director, Global Scaled Solutions, Uber