In october 2019 it was reported that 1.5 million packages were delivered in New York City every single day. Though convenient for customers and profitable for the Amazons of the world, getting so many boxes from warehouse to customer generates considerable negative externalities for cities.
“The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety, and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world.”
the global pandemic has taken e-commerce to new heights, and experts don’t expect this upward trend to slow down anytime soon. Without strategic intervention, we will find our cities facing increasingly severe traffic problems, safety issues, and polluting emissions.
Without strategic intervention, we will find our cities facing enormously severe traffic problems, safety issues and polluting emissions.
The same frustrations have plagued urban roadways for decades. However, technology is finally catching up, providing new means of addressing the challenges of crowding, pollution and parking enforcement on dense city streets.
In this case, a simple means of assessing the problem is to observe curbside parking and street traffic using streetlight cameras.
Deploying cameras to monitor public spaces may immediately incite the ire of die-hard privacy advocates which is why companies like mine have taken a privacy-by-design approach to product development. Our technology processes video in real-time and addresses further concerns about potential misuse for surveillance purposes by blurring faces and license plates beyond recognition prior to making any kind of image data available either internally or to public officials.
The point of these cameras is not to surveil but rather to leverage concrete data from real-world city streets to generate crucial insights and power automations at the curb. Automotus’ computer vision software is already using this model to help cities manage the aforementioned flood of commercial vehicles on their streets.
This technology can also be used to optimize and incentivize parking turnover. According to one study, drivers in New York City spend an average of 107 hours per year searching for parking spots, at a cost of $2,243 per driver in wasted time, fuel, and emissions, which represents $4.3 billion in total costs to the city. Similar wasteful dynamics are unfolding across America and the world. By collecting comprehensive data around the demand for curbside space, cities can design parking policies that ensure proper alignment between the supply of curb space and the way vehicles are actually using it.