The German multinational Siemens, a conglomerate of technology companies and industrial that the same is dedicated to the manufacturing of trains and turbines as well as to the production of household appliances, has the sunset view on the future of cities. The ceo deputy of the group, the physical Roland Busch (Erlangen, Germany, 1964) is chief technology officer and member of the board of directors of Siemens AG. His intervention in the last Smart City Expo World Congress held in Barcelona, has generated a lot of excitement. The company has developed a software platform to help cities manage public transport and traffic using its signaling systems and sensors. The executive board of Siemens, a company with an annual turnover of nearly 90,000 million euros, a commitment to continue with the digital strategy of the conglomerate, and argues that cities need to cooperate more with private companies to improve the management of infrastructure.
Question. most of the big companies are betting on a digital strategy for the electrification and weight gain in the management of the city. What can make the companies to develop the so-called ‘smart cities’?
Response. From the perspective of the mobility, which is the most challenging, all the companies talk about going the electric. We do so from the beginning, as all our trains are electric, except for some diesel. But the more that passed the electrical and / or reduce emissions, it is important to have a good base of public transport in the cities. Cities, usually with a restricted space, they have to increase the capacity of its transport, and this is achieved in two ways: by enabling buses and trains self-employed, without a driver, with which you increase up to 15% capacity; and encouraging maintenance of the infrastructure by using the prediction technology.
Q. will we See buses driving autonomous?
A. do Not imagine still buses autonomous driving throughout the city, this is still not what we'll see, but yes bus fleet of freelancers who go for lines designed for them. These systems, which are now in test, will require adequate infrastructure, and safe, and bring them out it would help a lot the management of the traffic and the cost. Without the driver, that costs a good part of the investment in a bus, you can consider having a fleet of smaller buses —are now so large because you have to cover the costs of the driver— but that will pass with greater frequency. This would make the public transport much more attractive for the users.
Q. And what about the private car or fleets of vehicles with driver?
A. The fleets of car are very convenient for the cities, but in the end do not reduce traffic. The cities in which companies like Uber have a lot of weight suffer from more traffic. That's why I think that, in the future, we will not see cars until they have a great public transport infrastructure.
Q. How have to be cities in five or ten years?
Q. To develop ideas such as the autonomous car, it is necessary to be deployed the technology 5G. When will be ready?
A. The 5G is an enabling technology and the most important is the low latency. If you want to have an autonomous vehicle you can not have sometimes 5G, and sometimes not. When we have deployed this technology, sooner rather than later, we will have a way to better connect the devices, and do it cheaper.
Q. What does Siemens to be an important actor in this transformation?
A. We do trains, signalling systems, traffic management, and monetization of the road, detections of drivers who do not pay, and we are working on a pilot project of an infrastructure that would support the bus self. So we come from the world of the infrastructure of the railway and the roads, and provide to the cities in this sense. Finally, and very important, we also provide software platforms to centralize the management of all the infrastructure of transport and traffic.
Q. What has to be the relationship between public institutions and companies, in regard to the governance of the ‘smart cities’, for example in the protection of the data?
A. The cities, and also companies, they have to be very transparent in what is done with the data. The privacy has to be respected, so that the governance is very important. It is also very important to cybersecurity, so that, for example, the public transport system is not attacked. That is why Norway chose Siemens to manage the infrastructure of railways, because we provide a solution that is safe.
Q. isn't it dangerous to have a single company in the management of transport, traffic and data?
A. If a city wants to use a system like the one we offer, a system operating in the city, you have to remove the fear that your clients are enrolling in a technology and go alone to a company. We say that this operating system is nothing more than a thin layer of technology. From it, you can use clouds for different products or applications distitas companies. This means that you start in a website, you have a valid proposal, for example, our infrastructure of buses self-employed, but then this is a platform that opens and can contain different vendors and applications. We know that it has to be an open system, but it also has to be a system that, going back to governance, is strong enough to have a high level of security.
Updated Date: 29 December 2019, 03:00