Towards a new urban mobility
65% of the world’s population will be urban in 2040 compared to 55% currently. This insatiable urbanization (especially in India and China) raises the question of time lost in transport (a driver loses 40 minutes during rush hour in Paris). Autonomous mobility day after day becomes a tangible response with its procession of personalized and fluid services.
The Fact: China Unveils Smart Panda, Its Future AI-Powered Autonomous Bus
During the Artificial Intelligence future development summit on January 18, 2019 in Shanghai, the company DeepBlue Technology, flagship of the AI industry in China, unveiled with great fanfare its autonomous bus called Smart Panda which integrates 8 technologies representative of the AI.
The 8 integrated technologies are as follows: automatic piloting, recognition of the veins of the hand, voice recognition, personalized advertising, an autonomous store, a vehicle surveillance robot, automatic management of ‘abnormal’ behaviors, and finally an intelligent emergency handling system.
The objective of this smart bus is to optimize the user experience by offering solutions and services managed by the AI that will save time in multitasking (shopping, work, etc.) while traveling comfortably.
For example, passengers can take the bus and go shopping by sliding their hands through the biometric identification system, obtaining personalized information (like ‘Minority report’), and once the destination final by going out to be charged for their purchases like an Uber.
The objective is simple: to optimize, secure and support the moments of life of citizens in an increasingly mobile world where time remains frozen in the interactions inseparable from the urban world.
Decoding: Urban mobility will no longer be mastered by car manufacturers
The needs and expectations of consumers are changing: the search for immediacy, the growth of online sales on smartphones. At the same time, a real technological transformation is taking place with the emergence of Uber-type platforms, sharing services such as Drivy, guidance applications such as Citymapper, Waze … These needs are hypertrophied in excessive urbanization!
With this in mind, many technology companies specializing in AI will seek to automate the detection, forecasting and decision-making of models in order to optimize urban flows and deliver contextual services.
Robomart joins forces with Stop & Shop
Meanwhile, in the US, the American startup Robomart based in San Francisco, has signed an agreement with the Stop & Shop grocery chain, whose autonomous vehicles will transport consumer products to customers’ doorsteps in the city of Boston.
In fact, customers, via an Uber-type application, will be able to order their mobile groceries. Upon arrival at destination, the user will be able to unlock the doors and enter the products. The selected products will be tracked via image recognition and once out of the vehicle, debited as in an Amazon Go store.
Like Deepblue Technology, Robomart and Uber, the actors who shape the city of tomorrow are not the historic car manufacturers!
Rémi Cornubert, of AT Kearney goes in the same direction, explaining: “Before, the automotive world was simple, very pyramidal: the manufacturer was the principal who worked with suppliers. Today, with the revolution of the connectivity, from autonomous cars and services to mobility, the partitions are blowing up, it is impossible for a manufacturer to control everything.”
DeepBlue Technology claims that its buses have already been sold in more than 200 cities in China and 500 cities around the world. Faced with these new developments, many cities will speed up rapid transit bus (BRT) projects.
Autonomous vehicles, supporting service ecosystems, will they transform the old adage of retail ‘no parking no business’ into ‘no ubiquity no business’?