Introduction

In recent years, advanced technology has been shaping our world in revolutionary ways. Particularly, the advent of collaborative robots and autonomous vehicles is reshaping the landscape of mobility unprecedentedly. The integration of artificial intelligence and technological innovations is paving the way for a new era of transportation, redefining our concept of travel and transforming how we move from one point to another. In this article, we will explore the key role that automation and robotics are playing in shaping the future of mobility, focusing particularly on the development of autonomous vehicles and collaborative robots.

Automation in Transportation

Automation in transportation has revolutionized the industry, introducing advanced systems that enhance efficiency and safety. From factories to ports, automation is optimizing logistical management and contributing to reduced times and costs.

Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots, or cobots, represent a breakthrough in human-machine interaction. These robots are designed to work alongside human operators, increasing productivity and ensuring greater flexibility in work tasks.

Autonomous Vehicles

The advancement of autonomous vehicle technology is transforming the concept of driving. With artificial intelligence systems and sophisticated sensors, autonomous vehicles promise to reduce road accidents, optimize traffic, and offer a new travel experience.

Impact on Urban Mobility

The combination of automation, robotics, and autonomous vehicles is shaping urban mobility. The shared use of autonomous vehicles is expected to reduce the need for car ownership, alleviating traffic congestion and contributing to a more sustainable urban environment.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

Despite exciting progress, the implementation of these technologies poses significant challenges. Safety, privacy, and ethical considerations are at the forefront of the debate surrounding the growth of automation and robotics in transportation.

By examining these aspects, we can fully appreciate the central role that automation and robotics are playing in redefining modern mobility.

Conclusions

In conclusion, automation and robotics are shaping the future of mobility in extraordinary ways. From collaborative robots working closely with humans to the revolution of autonomous vehicles, we are witnessing an epochal shift in transportation and logistics.

These innovations not only improve operational efficiency but also promise to radically transform our travel experience. Autonomous vehicles, in particular, open new horizons, reducing the number of road accidents, optimizing traffic, and contributing to more sustainable urban mobility.

However, with these technological advancements come significant challenges. Safety, privacy, and ethical considerations must be carefully addressed to ensure that automation and robotics positively contribute to our world.

The future of mobility looks exciting, driven by the ongoing integration of automation and robotics. It is now our task to manage these innovations wisely, ensuring that technological progress translates into a safer, more efficient, and sustainable world.

The theme of mobility plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of future cities and, more broadly, in the more efficient use of resources. Day by day, millions of citizens move for work, recreation, travel, or simple daily activities. Therefore, the future of mobility is not only about moving from point A to point B but directly impacts the daily lives of those who inhabit and animate these cities.

Recently, phenomena such as car sharing, carpooling, and peer-to-peer transport services are gaining ground, especially among younger generations. In the age group between 18 and 40, there is a decrease in the use of owned vehicles in favor of mobility-sharing systems, leveraging apps and new technologies.

In this period of rapid change, Smart Mobility is emerging as an increasingly relevant and necessary social and technological revolution. It goes beyond simplifying the movement of people and goods, positioning itself as a catalyst for the transformation of urban spaces into sustainable environments. This article will explore how the intersection of technology and mobility can contribute to reducing environmental impact and improving the quality of life for all of us.

Internet of Things: Data Collection and Analysis for Smart Mobility

In the digital era we are living in, the Internet of Things (IoT) emerges as a condition for many innovations that are revolutionizing various fields, including Mobility. The connectivity of IoT devices enables an unprecedented synergy between vehicles, infrastructure, and users: intelligent sensors integrated into roads can monitor real-time traffic, sending valuable data to optimize management. Connected cars can communicate with each other, avoiding collisions and optimizing routes to reduce travel times. This synergy also extends to services related to Shared Transportation: IoT devices, for example, allow effortless booking and location of shared vehicles. The combination of IoT & Smart Mobility, in addition to making transportation more efficient, sets the groundwork for new services that aim for a personalized mobility experience.

The Revolution of Electric Vehicles

Another pillar of the sustainable mobility of the future is the transition to electric vehicles. Battery technology has taken giant strides, making electric vehicles increasingly accessible and practical. With zero local emissions, these vehicles not only reduce environmental impact but are also at the forefront in terms of performance. The widespread adoption of fast and accessible charging infrastructure is crucial to ensuring the success of this revolution. There is still much to be done in this area, especially regarding the production and disposal of batteries, but it is undeniable that a path has been taken from which it will be difficult to turn back.

The New Era of Car Sharing and Bike Sharing

The sharing of transportation is another sector that has greatly benefited from new technologies. Car sharing and bike sharing platforms allow for a more efficient use of vehicles, reducing the overall number of cars in circulation and decreasing pressure on available resources. User-friendly applications make booking and using these services a breeze, promoting a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Autonomous Driving: Safety and Efficiency for Sustainable Mobility

The advent of autonomous driving is also revolutionizing mobility. Vehicles capable of moving autonomously, perhaps "communicating with each other in real-time," promise to reduce road accidents and optimize traffic flows. With greater fuel efficiency and more predictable travel times, autonomous driving emerges as a valuable ally in the fight for more sustainable mobility.

Smart Mobility: What does it serve for in concrete terms?

The technology of Smart Mobility platforms has evolved significantly in recent years: from car-sharing platforms to ride-sharing platforms, from bike-sharing platforms to those for managing corporate fleets. But what can they practically serve for?

1. To manage the transportation of people or goods, for example, to plan the optimal route and obtain information on the location of vehicles.

2. To monitor vehicles, collect data on their location, as well as speed or fuel consumption.

3. To manage the fleet, for example, to assign vehicles to employees and track their performance.

4. To provide travelers with information on transportation schedules or seat availability.

Smart Mobility and Smart Cities

As crucial as the technological aspect is, it is not the only factor influencing the future of mobility: our cities must also be able to accommodate and facilitate change.

A Smart City is not only digital and interconnected but must also offer personalized mobility solutions based on the needs of citizens. This also impacts infrastructure for micromobility, such as bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks, which must be increasingly integrated.

The cities of the future are called to be sustainable: the integration of smart infrastructures, such as synchronized traffic lights, traffic sensors, and vehicular communication networks, will enable more efficient management of vehicle and pedestrian flows. This will reduce travel times and dangerous situations, but will also contribute to an overall reduction in emissions. New technologies are shaping a future where urban mobility is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly. From roads to infrastructure, from vehicles to transportation sharing, technological innovation offers key solutions to address environmental challenges and build greener and more livable cities.

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Introduction

Cities around the world are facing increasingly complex challenges related to population growth, urbanization and the environment. In response to these challenges, the concept of "Smart City" is gaining increasing relevance, using technology and innovation to improve citizens' quality of life, optimize resources, and promote environmental sustainability. In this article, we will explore in detail how Smart Cities are transforming Europe, analyzing the most innovative applications and focusing on the development of Smart Cities in Italy.

Smart City: Concept and Foundations

A Smart City is a city that integrates advanced technologies, data and connectivity to improve efficiency, safety, sustainability and quality of life for citizens. The foundations of a Smart City include:

Advanced Technological Infrastructure

Smart cities are equipped with a network of sensors, cameras, wireless networks, and high-speed connectivity to collect real-time data. This data fuels decision-making and automation of public services.

Data and Analysis

Data processing is crucial. Smart cities use data analytics to make informed decisions and optimize resources. Data from sensors, cameras, and IoT devices enable more efficient management.

Citizen Participation

Actively involving citizens in decision-making and information sharing is essential to the success of Smart Cities. Citizen participation promotes the sharing of data and feedback to improve public services.

Smart City Applications in Europe

Smart cities in Europe are implementing a wide range of innovative solutions to address urban challenges. Here are some examples of use cases:

Sustainable Mobility

European cities are promoting green public transport, electric vehicles and shared mobility systems to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. Creating efficient transportation networks is a key objective.

Smart Waste Management

IoT sensors in waste collections monitor bin fill levels, optimizing collection routes and reducing costs. This smart waste management improves efficiency and reduces environmental impact.

Smart Public Lighting

Smart street lights adapt to environmental and traffic conditions, saving energy and improving safety. Real-time control of public lights is a key feature.

Smart Buildings

Smart buildings in Europe use automation to optimize energy use, reducing consumption and improving occupant comfort. Building management systems are central to this goal.

Digital Public Services

Smart cities offer online public services, simplifying interactions with municipal government, from booking parking spaces to requesting documents. Digital platforms increase accessibility to services.

Smart Cities in Italy: Innovation at the Service of Cities

Italy is taking significant steps toward the development of Smart Cities. Here are some notable initiatives:

Milan: Shared Mobility

Milan is investing in shared mobility systems, including electric bikes and car sharing, to reduce traffic and improve air quality. The city is aiming for sustainable mobility.

Turin: Intelligent Lighting

Turin has implemented a smart lighting system that adjusts the intensity of lights based on weather and traffic conditions. The city aims to reduce energy consumption.

Florence: Environmental Monitoring

Florence uses IoT sensors to monitor air quality and noise pollution, providing real-time data to citizens. The city promotes environmental awareness.

Bologna: Intelligent Buildings

Bologna is promoting the energy upgrading of public buildings, reducing consumption and CO2 emissions. The city is committed to sustainability.

Rome: Digital Services

Rome offers digital public services, enabling citizens to make online payments, book services and access useful information. Digitization simplifies procedures.

Outlook for the Next Two Decades

Smart cities in Europe have a promising future for the next 20 years. Some of the prospects include:

Conclusions

Smart cities are changing the face of European cities, improving the lives of citizens, promoting sustainability and optimizing efficiency. Italy is following this trend with innovative initiatives in many of its cities. The goal is to create urban environments that are smarter, sustainable and geared toward people's well-being. The evolution of Smart Cities is a growing process, and Europe is playing a key role in this urban transformation. Global urban challenges can be addressed with creativity and technology, improving the quality of life and the environment in which we live. Looking ahead, Smart Cities will continue to thrive and bring positive change to European communities.

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Ongoing socio-economic changes impose innovative and bold mobility choices in daily routines from which significant improvements can result from an environmental perspective as well as in terms of safety and traffic reduction.

The transport sector is responsible for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, the European Environment Agency's "Transport and Environment Report" found. In first place, as can be easily guessed, is road traffic, followed by maritime traffic and then air traffic. In contrast, rail transport is the most sustainable by far, producing only 0.4 percent of emissions.

The Sustainability of Rail Transport and the Modal Shift.

The FS Group's Sustainability Report states that "overall, the benefit of sustainable mobility through the use of the FS Group's collective means of transport has been estimated for both rail and road passenger transport and rail freight transport at about 4.8 million tons of CO2e saved." Suffice it to say that a traveler to go from Rome and Milan produces 25Kg of CO2 by traveling by train, 67.5Kg of CO2 by car, and 117.3Kg of CO2 by taking the airplane."All in all, the benefit of sustainable mobility through the use of the FS Group's collective means of transportation has been estimated for both rail and road passenger transport and rail freight transport at about 4.8 million tons of CO2e saved."

This is why the issue of sustainability is at the heart of the FS Group's latest 2022-31 Business Plan, which on the one hand encourages the so-called modal shift, i.e., a change in the travel habits of people and goods, and on the other aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, 10 years ahead of the target set by the EU.

Rail transportation also has to deal with the open issue of emissions from generating the electricity needed to move trains and operate stations and the rail network, which is why the State Railways has launched a more than 1.6 billion euro self-generation plan.

The goal is to produce about 2.6 TWh of energy, which would guarantee to reduce CO2 emissions by about 800,000 tons. A decisive move for the decarbonization of transport: renewable and clean energy will come from real photovoltaic fields placed on the roofs of stations and other buildings of the FS Group, and for this, a widespread monitoring of the entire real estate will be initiated to identify areas and buildings to be used for this purpose.

An ambitious project with enormous potential, but it is not the only one.

Circular Economy and Corporate Sustainability

We also recall Sustainable Construction Sites, which involves the high-speed line to be built between Naples and Bari. This Infrastructure is the first work certified with the Envision Protocol in Europe and has achieved the Platinum level, the highest level achievable. Special attention has been paid to the management of excavated materials, which provides for a reuse of more than 96 percent of the excavated land, in full circular economy view. At the Florence Passante construction sites, these excavated materials are transported precisely by train, with significant savings in terms of pollution and road traffic congestion.

The challenge of digitalization: predictive maintenance

Modern mobility is not just mobility. It also requires very advanced integration with the issues of connectivity and digitization, issues on which the FS Group is far ahead.

It is precisely digitization that plays a crucial role in making effective predictive maintenance, which in the transportation sector is undermining "reactive" maintenance that creates huge costs in terms of time and inconvenience. Following reactive maintenance, a certain component is changed when it breaks down, resulting in failure, delay and inconvenience to passengers, expenses that cannot be budgeted for and are often incurred by having to take emergency action. Not to mention the danger and possible consequences to people.

What is predictive maintenance based on instead? On the collection, analysis, and processing of data-everything is monitored, from the network to the support facilities to the rolling stock, which thus becomes much safer. The FS group has deployed its two main entities: Trenitalia, which is responsible for fleet management and efficiency, and RFI which is responsible for managing the rail network. With this paradigm shift comes a new methodology that aims to prevent breakdowns and improve the efficiency of maintenance activities, precisely through data collection and analysis.

Wear, temperatures and vibrations are among the most important aspects to monitor, since if these parameters are out of control the life cycle of the components involved is greatly shortened. Of course, the fundamental acquisition of data with thousands of sensors on the vehicles and structures is then accompanied by their analysis and processing, activities on which personnel must also be constantly updated.

An example of this approach is Trenitalia's DMMS (Dynamic Maintenance Management System) that has been in operation for a few years and allows real-time monitoring of the entire fleet of regional, Intercity and Frecce trains: each train sends 5,000 pieces of information per minute.

A very detailed level of continuous analysis that no human being could carry out as effectively.

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How to revolutionize the insurance industry with models and solutions to assess risk, build customer loyalty, and detect fraud? We asked our Chief Mobility Technology Officer.

The technological evolution represented by the combination of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Automation has proven to be a winning bet in several industries. In the insurance field, particularly in Insurance Telematics, these emerging technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs and provide better service to customers. 

We recently interviewed our own Marco D'Ambrosio on the topic, who provided us with a broad and comprehensive overview of why to take a specific approach and the resulting benefits for companies that choose to integrate these three technologies.

Marco, how would you define with one adjective the integrated use of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation in Insurance Telematics?

"Disruptive" is the adjective I use most often to qualify the approach that Insurance Telematics offers to risk management in the insurance industry, bringing benefits to both companies and customers. The integration of IoT, Artificial Intelligence and automation creates new opportunities for improving efficiency, reducing costs and offering personalized service. Insurance companies that adopt these innovative solutions will be able to remain competitive and provide added value to their customers in an ever-changing market.

Point us to four significant use cases that help us understand the benefits of the integrated approach of IoT, AI and Automation in Insurance Telematics?

  1. I would definitely start with Risk Assessment and Rates. Through the use of drivers' driving data collected through telematics devices, it is possible to quantify customers' risk in real time. This data allows insurance companies to set rates appropriate to each customer's driving profile. With detailed risk analysis, prudent drivers can be rewarded with lower rates, thus incentivizing responsible and safe driving behavior. In addition, this innovation can support coaching actions, helping drivers adopt responsible behavior with a significant impact on traffic accident prevention, thus contributing to greater road safety and positive social impact.
  1. There is also an objective advantage in Demand Management. Process automation based on customer data enables more efficient insurance claims management. With the integration of AI and automation, it is possible to automate the prioritization of claims based on importance and automatically approve those that are simple and well documented. This not only speeds up the claims handling process, but also improves customer satisfaction by reducing waiting time and simplifying the claims process. However, I always emphasize that automation does not completely replace human involvement, but complements it. Claims evaluation and approval can be supported by AI systems, but human oversight is always needed to ensure accurate analysis and make appropriate decisions.
  1. A third winning use case? Certainly that, in the long run, of customer retention: the use of customer behavioral data makes it possible to identify the likelihood that a customer will switch to competitors. The information gathered can be used to reach at-risk customers and provide them with personalized offers. Through targeted marketing strategies and appropriate incentives, insurance companies can actively work to retain acquired customers, thereby improving retention and reducing churn rates. However, never forget that an ethical and responsible approach to the use of customer data is always a priority: it is mandatory to respect customer privacy and ensure the security of personal information.
  1. Then there is a fourth use case I would like to mention: the use of integrated Insurance Telematics for fraud detection. The fight against fraud is a common challenge in both the banking and insurance sectors. The use of AI-based predictive models enables insurance companies to estimate the probability that a claim is fraudulent. These claims can be targeted for further investigation, thereby reducing losses caused by fraudulent behavior. Automation of fraud detection processes helps prevent and counter fraud attempts, ensuring greater reliability and integrity in the insurance industry. As with the previous point, fraud detection must be balanced with the protection of customer privacy. Insurance companies must ensure compliance with data privacy regulations and ensure that they use customer information only for legitimate and legal purposes, such as fraud prevention.

Thank you Marco! A truly comprehensive review that shines a spotlight on several aspects of Smart Mobility that are absolutely effective for companies wishing to access integrated and innovative technology solutions. One last suggestion for those who will read this interview?

My dispassionate suggestion, for anyone who feels like embarking on a path of business innovation, is to contact us. At Frontiere, we are constantly working to facilitate access to innovations in all market sectors and, therefore, to innovative business models. It is the principle that has always guided our research and development and that makes our approach to smart mobility and risk management in the insurance industry disruptive.

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