Smart mobility solutions are key to sustainable cities. The Swedish region of Östergötland has become a hot spot for a number of innovative solutions, such as city district design for sustainable transport, car and bike fleets, intelligent traffic safety systems and much more.
The region of Östergötland has become a hub for smart mobility solutions, with a wide range of pioneering projects. Solutions include overall district planning and design, as well as specific projects such as sharing services and testing of autonomous vehicles to develop the sustainable city. Below are just some of the initiatives.
Vallastaden: a district designed for sustainability
Linköping’s new Vallastaden district is a pioneer in mobility solutions, and was specifically built with sustainability in mind, with a strong emphasis on cyclists and pedestrians. The principal idea has been to design the district so that travelling by car is not always the easiest option, for instance by locating car parks on the outskirts of the district. Instead, cycling, walking and public transport are promoted through generous bike lanes, footpaths and several bus stops.
Mobility as a Service
There is a growing number of transport services these days, including public transport and fleets of shared cars and bikes. The ‘Mobility as a Service’ project brings these and other solutions together under a single mobile application. Users can customise their travel and manage all arrangements using the app, including planning, booking, payment, tickets, and receiving real-time information. By combining different types of transport in a user-friendly app, the aim is to increase both the city’s accessibility and fossil-free travel.
The app includes simple, smart car sharing through peer-to-peer leasing of private cars, provided by Ciao Carsharing. When a car owner joins Ciao, smart hardware is installed in their car, enabling people nearby to book and unlock the car through Ciao Ciao’s app. Cycling in Linköping is also easy thanks to electric bikes from Linebike’s fleet. The app allows customers to unlock bikes and travel between many points in the city, paying a small fee per journey or a fixed cost per month.
Autonomous vehicles and traffic safety
Autonomous vehicles will be key to making cities sustainable in the future. Linköping already has two electric self-driving buses operating at the university as a part of the ‘Ride the Future’ research project. The purpose is to gain new knowledge and investigate how self-driving buses can complement traditional public transport to allow more people to use public transport instead of their own car.
Edeva is a Linköping-based company that supplies an intelligent traffic safety system called Actibump. The system doesn’t react to vehicles driving at or under the speed limit, but for speeding vehicles Actibump activates a hatch built into the road that lowers a few centimetres, creating an inverted speed bump. Actibump is a robust system that not only increases road safety and accessibility, but also lowers emissions and traffic noise.