Smart cities and green transportation modes take center stage in #myEUSpace

Smart cities and green transportation modes take center stage in #myEUSpace

With less than a month left for the submission deadline of EUSPA’s latest innovation competition it’s time for a short recap the ‘’Map My World’’ and ‘’Move Me Smart’’ challenges. 

According to UN projections, urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050. These trends are pushing the boundaries for resource exploitation and are creating a huge demand for civil infrastructures such as buildings, subways, and train lines, bridges, dams, highways, and airports. Both the construction sector and urban planning are directly benefitting from the EU Space Programme namely from the additional accuracy of Galileo and EGNOS which allows surveyors to accurately pinpoint structures and reference points. Copernicus offers high-resolution images to assess the state of civil infrastructure including dams, or pipelines and track water loss.

EUSPA market report, finds that by 2025, 83% of GNSS geomatics equipment will be used for cadastral surveying and construction applications. As of today, more than 80% of newly manufactured geomatics equipment and instruments use Galileo.

The “Μap Μy World’” challenge of #myEUspace aims at promoting the use of EU satellite programmes Galileo, EGNOS, and/or Copernicus among students, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs), that look to create cutting-edge geomatics applications and solutions. 

Such applications could integrate the use of additional technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, as well as supplementary remote sensing data sources like drones. Solutions animated through mobile phone applications or other easy-to-use platforms are also welcome.

The challenge is supported by the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE). 

Watch this:  Want to know more about EGNSS for geomatics?

“Move Me Smart’” challenge is opening a door for new solutions for smart mobility and smart cities 

Smart mobility is currently under the spotlight as the Union is investing more in its EU Space Programme for the definition of its green and digital policies. The “Move me smart’’ challenge taps on this asking innovators to conceive smart mobility solutions across all transportation modes to improve efficiency and sustainability and increase safety. The proposed solutions should be focusing on:

reduction of emissions
more sustainable transport means and new concepts of mobility
more affordable, accessible, healthier, and cleaner alternatives  

The COVID-19 lockdown measures led to the reduction of emissions in cities, which raised their interest in identifying more suitable mobility schemes when activity returns to normal. In this context, some cities have decided to take the opportunity to build a better, more sustainable, and efficient transport system to support the recovery phase, and look for solutions in space. For example, more efficient cycling routes and their integration in the cities or more applications on shared mobility can reduce the use of personal vehicles in the city and improve the air condition for inhabitants. 

New mobility schemes, such as unmanned vehicles are being developed to meet the emerging needs of transport of people and goods. In fact, parcel delivery promises to reduce emissions in cities and demands EGNSS differentiators to fly safely beyond the line of sight to complete its mission. Moreover, drones and unmanned vehicles now navigate more accurately thanks to Galileo’s robust performance. Drone-based solutions like Thunderfly, one of the myGalileoDrone winners, is able to perform atmosphere analyses, leveraging services and data from Galileo and Copernicus. 

On the other hand, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) rely on positioning data, which has now become much more precise thanks to Galileo services. With the help of Galileo and EGNOS, the implementation of ITS is now becoming a reality for transport and mobility companies. The city of Madrid together with Prague was among the first to integrate Galileo’s enhanced positioning services into its Transport System to improve public transport services in the Spanish and Czech capital. 

On the other hand, sustainable and resilient infrastructures are key to supporting smart mobility systems. Copernicus, the EU’s Earth Observation Programme offers a broad range of products and services based on satellite optical data. Lidar images, can, for instance, help urban planning authorities to identify changes in the terrain such as land subsidence or vegetation that could encroach rail tracks. The combination of imagery from Copernicus with the very accurate positioning provided by Galileo allows for the monitoring and planning of critical infrastructures tunnels, motorways, bridges or contributes to more sufficient management of parking lots.

The opportunities offered by the EU Space Programme are unlimited! The clock is ticking, so roll up your sleeves!

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