Intelligent Transport for Smart CitiesTue, 11/06/2018 - 10:11
A city cannot be Smart without having an intelligent public transportation system, according to Luis Tejadilla, Regional Sales Director of Belden Industrial Solutions. He says intelligence is all about capitalizing on communications infrastructure for efficient, safe and reliable mass transport. “All city transport has to be integrated into a communications network,” he says.
The challenge in Mexico is the informal transport systems, such as colectivos or peseros, that clutter many Mexican roads. As a result, regulation of the whole transport system under one network becomes a titanic mission. “You cannot control what you do not measure,” says Tejadilla. “To bring efficiency to the Mexican transport system, we have to first measure it.”
Belden is developing outside-the-box solutions to address the issue, using GPS devices to track informal drivers and their routes. This will create a database of the routes used by peseros, for instance, and how long it takes them to get from one stop to another to improve service efficiency. Belden is considering partnering with other technology companies to bring better solutions to integrate informal transportation into city systems. “We are striving to improve our offer for Smart City applications,” he says.
The goal is ambitious, hence the need to take precautions against threats and make the city network as secure and reliable as possible. For this endeavor, the company offers smart switches and intelligent software that help control the network’s performance. “The world is moving toward Industry 4.0,” he says. “Our industrial networking switches help companies incorporate these principles as they will be able to connect the whole industrial world into the network. We also offer solutions for cybersecurity, to measure Smart City networks’ security, traffic behavior and performance evaluation.”
An integrated transport network also improves quality of life. Tejadilla explains that Mexico lacks real-time information on transportation times. For example, when taking public transport in most European cities, passengers know the specific time at which trains and buses will arrive. “We do not have that information precision in Latin America yet, so Belden is helping to provide this kind of efficiency to users,” he says.
Transport communications also tackle the need to enhance passenger safety. “When a citizen is connected, response times to accidents decrease, which also reduces casualties,” Tejadilla says. Belden has participated in several City Safety projects in Mexico by providing optic fiber, ethernet cable and industrial switches to better connect cities.
The company is also joining other city-transport projects, such as bidding for the communications infrastructure of the Mexico City-Toluca Interurban Train and collaborating with Guadalajara’s government to expand the Wi-Fi network in some areas of the city. “Our goal is to provide the required infrastructure to make Wi-Fi accessible to all,” Tejadilla says. The company does not bid by itself. It participates through its strategic partners and alliances. “Belden does not sell directly but through our network of integrators and distributors, as we want to respect their business while focusing on manufacturing the best quality products that we can.”
Dependability is the key to standing out among the market’s competition, Tejadilla adds. “Reliability is crucial for us. We ensure that our devices can be used under the harshest conditions by offering a full warranty,” he says.