Autonomous Vehicles, Digital Twins and the future of Traffic congestion | Smart Cities, part I

Author: Chen Gabay

photo 2022 02 07 10.22.14 1024x538 - Autonomous Vehicles, Digital Twins and the future of Traffic congestion | Smart Cities, part I

How much time of your life do you spend stuck in traffic jams? If you live or work in an
urban area the answer is probably a lot. Modern life brought many time-saving technologies,
but when it comes to transportation it seems like the problem is just getting worse. And so,
new technologies such as Autonomous Vehicles and Urban digital twins are aiming for the
solution. Cognata’s 4D model, with its AI mobility layers, combines those technologies and
offers an innovative way to help smart cities find their flow.


Traffic congestion is on the rise. Autonomous vehicles are aiming for the solution, but
how will it affect the urban environment?

According to recent research, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the average American
wasted almost 100 hours a year in traffic delays, and this number grows significantly in big
cities. Urbanization, growing population, and increased number of vehicles on the roads
create constant traffic congestion in cities and highways. Yet there is more to the story.
Human drivers tend to slow down the traffic by changing speed (stop and go), changing
lanes, curiosity slowing and searching for parking spots. The problem is expected to get
worse and affect the quality of our life if we don’t find a sustainable solution.

Autonomous Vehicles are the new technology that aims to solve this issue. The growing
industry uses AI technology to create smarter, safer, and faster transportation. The AVs
should help decrease stop-and-go waves, driving at a more constant rate; But more
importantly, the number of drivers searching for parking spots in cities and slowing down
the traffic will significantly decrease. This unavoidable development in urban mobility will
certainly affect our cities’ look and behavior. Therefore, cities and Urban planners must
address this change in their future planning and take it into consideration.


Classic urban planning models are no longer enough in modern cities. Dynamic digital
twins can help city planners make smarter and better decisions

One of the most common and traditional methods of urban planners is the 3D model, yet the
classic static model is not enough in modern cities, where many complex and dynamic
systems are working and cooperating simultaneously. Many municipalities around the world
have realized this issue and are aiming to develop digital twins of their cities. These urban
digital twins include 4D dynamic models that imitate city life to a very high resolution. 

Singapore, for example, launched ”Virtual Singapore”, a dynamic city model and collaborative
data platform, comprising detailed information such as terrain attributes, vegetation, and
transportation infrastructure; Another example is the Digital Twin of the Dutch city of Rotterdam,
using data from maps, real-time sensors, blueprints of buildings, and transport networks.
Dynamic mobility layers in those models can and are used to predict traffic behavior, address
existing and future hazards, manage urban mobility and examine different scenarios and planning
alternatives before making real and expensive changes.


Dynamic, 4d models combine and harness the technologies of Autonomous Vehicles
and Urban digital twins, and offer an innovative way to help smart cities find their flow

The new technologies of Autonomous Vehicles and the Digital Twin offer cities the opportunity to
reduce traffic congestion and improve their future planning and management. Cognata uses 4D models
with the dynamic mobility layout of AVs, helping cities and planners understand and analyze how
this new technology will affect the future of traffic congestion and the urban environment, as well as
examining different scenarios and improving future urban and mobility planning. The outcome could
help predict and decrease traffic congestion, and save us all a lot of time.

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