Researchers, experts and industry professionals discussed how technology and automation can positively affect mobility in large urban centers.

The Center for Technology and Society (CTS) of Rio de Janeiro Law School (FGV Direito Rio) held on August 11 the Conference “Technology, Automation and the Future of Mobility”. The event brought together researchers, experts and industry professionals to discuss how technology and automation can positively affect mobility in large urban centers.

Marta Gonzalez, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), delivered the event’s opening lecture. Expert on urban mobility, she addressed the theme “Locomotion time, density and mobility applications: a new analysis." The study tried to show how the use of big data could help urban mobility.

According to Marta, mobile phones, with over 6 billion users worldwide, can be a great ally in mobility issues. The professor explained that the coordinates sent by the devices assist in mapping the routes most used at certain times of the day, which allows tracing alternative routes.

Angelo Leite, president of Serttel, talked about innovative mobility projects in the lecture on “New, intelligent and shared urban environments: public bicycles, electric cars and smart parking". He presented some solutions that the company offers to solve mobility problems, such as the bike sharing system, which only in Rio includes 260 stations and more than 10,000 trips per day. He explained that the company is now investing in the sharing of electric vehicles, a project that is being tested in Recife, where the headquarters of the company are located.

The Conference continued with the table of debates on “–Urban Mobility status and trends”, which analyzed how new technologies are improving the cities and how they will evolve. The other panel addressed “Infrastructural Challenges: wireless networks”, which talked about the availability of mobile networks and the unlicensed spectrum for use in technologies that will have implications on urban mobility.

The conference also discussed “Regulation and new technologies – automation, privacy and security." The panel discussed recent cases faced by the judiciary related to privacy and data protection. The last table glanced at the future in a debate about which research areas will boost the development of transport in Brazil.

For the associate professor of Rio de Janeiro Law School, Silvio Meira, the debates about the use of technology and automation to assist in urban mobility are important because they bring together different views and studies on the subject, since there are no obvious solutions to the problem, but a set of solutions. “These studies currently being conducted have implications not only in the design of new systems, new infrastructure and new services to facilitate human mobility in the urban environment, but also in non-trivial issues such as information security, privacy, and the protection of users rights. This is not solved by only picking up the data from around the world, analyzing it and presenting a solution on the other side. Partly because it has no obvious solution. What exists is a set of solutions that are sustainable within an urban context”, he said.

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