by Politecnico di Milano
The era of the car as we know it has ended. Recent EU countries regulations, combined with the statements issued by several EU car manufacturers about stopping production of fossil fuel-based cars are making a world without the sounds or smells that dominated the 20th century suddenly imaginable. In this scenario, urban transportation will change radically and cleaner ways of mobility will arise. Aside electric cars and public transports, people will rediscover the joy of zero-emission mobility by increasingly using bicycles or simply walking. Although many initiatives for using bicycles in cities are more and more frequent (e.g., station-less bike sharing services such as Ofo or Mobike), urban navigation is still relying on traditional routing systems developed primarily for cars. Some navigation services (e.g., Google Maps) provides options for pedestrians and bikers, but the routes they compute are generally based on time only and do not take into account other important factors such as pollution or noise.
At the same time, the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm is populating the world with an increasing number of sensors able to sense the surrounding environment and communicate such measurements remotely for higher level services. In particular, it is envisioned that the application of such a paradigm to urban environments will foster the rise of the so called Smart Cities. This evolution generates several practical challenges still to be solved, such as the management of massive amount of data coming from city-wide deployed sensor networks or the integration of such data into user-friendly data consumer platforms able to scale and be used in a flexible way.
In this scenario, the objective of the SURF experiment is to showcase the feasibility of a smart routing system specifically addressing urban mobility for pedestrians and cyclists using IoT technologies. Leveraging the data accessible through the FIESTAIoT framework, the proposed routing system computes several alternatives to traditional shortest-path routes such as the ones computed by standard services like Google Maps. Such alternative routes are computed fusing geographical information obtained from publicly available navigation services with the data retrieved by sensors available in the location of interests, and made available through the FIESTA-IoT platform in a completely agnostic fashion.
Combining the two sources of data allows to create a greatly flexible and customizable urban routing system. A user has several degrees of freedom in selecting the best path for reaching his or her final destination. Some examples include: –
- For geographical areas where air quality sensors are installed, select the least polluted route –
- For areas where temperature or solar radiation sensors are installed, select the route with the highest or lowest temperature –
- For areas where sound sensors are installed, select the quietest route
The choice of the specific option to select depends of course on the sensor resources available in a particular area, which are conveniently discovered through the FIESTA-IoT platform. For each sensor resource available in the location of interest for the user, the SURF experiment also performs two important processing operations in space and time: i) data retrieved from the platform is spatially interpolated to increase its granularity and ii) prediction models are individually created for each sensor resource in order to allow the user to obtain routes also in the future.
Try it out at: www.surf-fiesta-iot.ml