Transport in Manchester is becoming smarter and cleaner

Manchester is on the move as a smart global city

Manchester’s destination as one of the world’s truly ‘smart’ cities is no more evident than in its transport system – one which is already linked to property investment success. And in this arena, the CityVerve project is delivering on what it promises: to consult with the public, meet the challenges of a rapidly growing population, and provide solutions to create a more accessible city for residents, commuters, and visitors.

There’s a digital layer evolving in Manchester that is transforming how the city moves about and conducts its daily business, and that’s great news for property investment here.

The power of knowledge is creating a proactive transport system in Manchester

When you consider the way that we go about our daily lives, and how we move from one place to another, we’re a pretty reactive bunch. We plan a route, set out, and hope that our journey isn’t interrupted by some unforeseen event.

An accident, roadworks, an overheated vehicle, flooding, an influx of people all travelling to a football match. All these and much more are disruptions to which we mostly react. How much smoother and faster would our journeys be if we were able to foresee such events and act to avoid them?

It is only part of what is driving Manchester’s transport evolution. Everywhere you look in Manchester today, the digital layer is appearing. Cameras, beacons, sensors and apps collect data constantly. They inform a central hub about the levels of traffic moving around the city, flows of people, and where bottlenecks are or are likely to be. At the core, all this data is crunched in real time to produce nudges to the traffic around the city and keep it flowing more freely. And everyone takes part in this, whether they’re aware of it or not.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – connecting the dots and showing the big picture

Central to the success of this project is the IoT. This system of interrelated computers, machines, people, objects, and even animals provide unique insights into what is happening on Manchester’s roads, railways, and paths. Unique identifiers beam data to collections points, without the need for physical interaction.

Suddenly, the complex city life that is constantly on the move is transformed into a million and more data points. Each of these provides a small piece of the puzzle, which is then decoded to produce the big picture in minute detail.

Think of it as a pixelated image. It’s difficult to see what it is at first, but as more dots are added the picture comes more sharply into focus. Eventually, it’s clear, bright, and sharp. That is what the IoT is doing for Manchester, but at a super-fast pace.

This ‘immersive lab’ turns every activity into a digital visualisation, helping people to make smarter transport decisions faster.

How is the IoT used to keep Manchester traffic in free-flow?

Several transport initiatives are now employing IoT technologies to help keep Manchester on the move.

For example, along the length of Oxford Road, a key route that runs through Corridor Manchester, ‘talkative bus systems’ operate. These alert drivers to the fact that people are waiting to be picked up. Bus stops show the latest information about your destination. They’ll tell you about the wheelchair and pushchair-friendly spots. When on the bus, you benefit from free Wi-Fi, charging ports, and more comfortable seats.

At the bus stops, intelligent digital signage helps commuters plan the most efficient route – with systems informed by real-time data collected by sensor technology.

Traffic flow is planned and shifted in real time as real-time data comes in.

Reducing carbon emissions and creating a healthier city

More efficient transport is not the only objective of Manchester as a smart city. There are many others, including creating a cleaner and healthier place to live. Faster-flowing traffic will help to reduce carbon emissions in Manchester. Fresher air to breathe will encourage more physical activity, and the Bee Active app aims to help people walk more and discover more about Manchester.

Simply download the Bee Active app to your smartphone, set a personal daily steps goal, and away you go! The app provides ‘nudges’, such as missions to go for a walk. It links your location in Manchester with the weather, traffic, and travel data. If you’re sitting on a bus on Oxford Road and the traffic is heavy, Bee Active may nudge you to get off, and walk in the sunshine. You’ll save time, increase your exercise levels, and help Manchester to keep moving.

Manchester is a great place to live and work – and this makes it a great place to invest in property. Contact one of the Gladfish team today on  +44 207 923 6100 to find out about the incredible property investment opportunities in Manchester.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

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