Municipal fleets, including buses and other forms of city transportation, use a heavy amount of energy every year. Much like the military, we’ve seen a steady decline in the rate at which they consume. Factors include:
Brainchild of Doug Band, the CGI is a large collaborative unit of corporations, non-profits, and political figures that are aiding in the process of route optimization. Route optimization can be clearly be defined as the fastest route from point A to B; the algorithm used be these companies (ESRI and NAVTEQ) is similar to that of consumer GPS systems.
In a partnership with the city of San Francisco, the CGI and Doug Band provide a call to action approach at incorporating plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from fleets in the San Francisco Bay Area through Fleet Route Optimization Software. This includes anything from public transportation to work-force vehicles. NAVTEQ actually distributes digital maps and content that drives navigation- and location-based services solutions worldwide, including:
Congruently, ESRI utilizes GIS mapping software – this helps the user interpret data, further aiding in transportation-based decision-making, reliant on the best information and analysis. Much of this is similar to what the average consumer finds on his/her portable GPS. Furthermore, it’s important to note that this technology has been around and is widely used.
Most of the time, these feature will be labeled as “alternate routes,” and will allow the user to view multiple paths, along with other elements like fuel cost, distance, time and gas station stops. Similarly, developers incorporate mechanisms that permit users to view weather/traffic in their area. This is greatly beneficial for travelers as nobody likes to get in bad weather, or a traffic jam for that matter! Typically, users will have to pay a little extra for these features, and may even have to attend to a monthly fee for traffic/weather updates.
Both forces hope to provide powerful solutions for cities like San Fran. Once a seamless integration of communication and navigation has been implemented, transportation will become much more efficient. Again, this is something that has already taken effect and will continue to improve energy efficiency in regards to transportation fuel costs. As we technology progresses and becomes more affordable, individual consumers will begin seeing GPS as longer just an option, but rather a integral part of any vehicle.
Article by Jack Lundee, appearing courtesy 2GreenEnergy.