Mobile communications combat traffic jams and smog in megacities
* Public Private Partnership: Deutsche Telekom and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) agree strategic alliance
* Joint traffic projects in Shanghai and Beijing for Expo 2010
* Commitment to low carbon society: fewer traffic jams, fewer emissions
Deutsche Telekom and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a federally owned organization involved in international cooperation for sustainable development, have agreed a strategic alliance in the field of sustainable mobility in megacities in developing and emerging countries. The GTZ operates worldwide, among others on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The partnership aims to significantly improve the quality of life in megacities in Asia, South America and Africa with the aid of mobile Internet services based on 3G and UMTS. By combining information technology, mobile communications and satellite location, carbon dioxide (CO2) in the exhaust emissions can already be measured while on the move - without having to retrofit special probes or the need for costly integration with the onboard electronics. The pilot project is due to be implemented in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
Air pollution in major conurbations is increasing sharply worldwide
CO2 pollution and particulate emissions in cities can be reduced substantially with modern drive systems, and improved even further by using high-tech solutions that improve individual driving behavior and facilitate traffic routing. Car drivers can call up CO2 data, say using Google Maps on a smartphone or navigation device, and thus plan fuel-efficient trips from A to B or taking in several locations en route (low carbon mobility). At the same time, haulage companies or environmental and traffic authorities can utilize this high-quality information to facilitate environmentally friendly traffic and fleet management. A series of initial measures involving city administrations and fleet operators in Beijing and in Shanghai are already underway. During EXPO 2010, shuttle vehicles were fitted with equipment that determines the carbon footprint of a VIP fleet.
Deutsche Telekom has been committed to the low carbon society for many years - not least with sustainable Internet services and telecommunications products. The cooperation between Deutsche Telekom and GTZ as part of the BMZ “Development Partnerships with the Private sector” (“develoPPP”) program contributes to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals set out in September 2000. Two of the goals: “Ensure environmental sustainability” and “Develop a global partnership for development” are prime examples of the founding idea behind the partnership between GTZ and Deutsche Telekom.
According to a World Bank report, 16 out of 20 of the world’s most polluted cities are in China. Measurements taken during the Olympic Games in Beijing revealed that particulate concentrations are 81 percent above the World Health Organization standard. Worldwide, urban conurbations run the risk of being choked by air pollution. Progressive urbanization also brings in its wake traffic and environmental problems, especially in megacities in emerging countries.
Financial incentives through emissions trading for cars and trucks
CO2 certificates for delivery vehicles and large fleets could be a promising new approach in emerging countries. These would provide effective incentives to prevent CO2 and generate additional income. Local government, traffic and environmental agencies, but also taxi companies, haulage companies or other operators of large vehicle fleets in particular could thus set up incentive systems designed to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions or take advantage themselves of certificate trading. “That could help emerging countries utilize the carbon market to come up with the money that is urgently needed to invest in traffic management systems and local public transport,” says Dr. Ignacio Campino, Board Representative for Sustainability and Climate Protection at Deutsche Telekom.
The GTZ-Telekom alliance leverages experiences from the initial “Pay-as-you-Pollute” joint project, which was presented at the Expo in Shanghai. Smartphones with a special software program (app) were used in the Expo VIP fleet made up of 50 vehicles. This app ascertained acceleration and braking maneuvers as well as the profiles of the routes covered. Together with fuel consumption data from the automakers, the CO2 emissions for the Expo were calculated in real time. All this data was simultaneously merged in the Tongji University traffic model to create a picture of the traffic flows and emissions in Shanghai.
Control driving behavior using mobile communications: free parking vouchers
“The interest shown by government and business was extraordinary. Our system is unrivalled anywhere in the world since we measure the CO2 emissions of individual vehicles while on the move and can dynamically record pollutant distributions in a megacity,” says Kemal Ayyildiz, representative of Deutsche Telekom in China.
Together with Tongji University in Shanghai the project partners also tested to what extent driving behavior can be modified if drivers have to pay a CO2-dependent charge for the city center. For instance, those drivers who accelerated more slowly up to traffic lights, thereby generating less CO2, were rewarded with parking vouchers in the city center. The aim was to use mobile communications to record and control driving behavior, and so pinpoint local hotspots of exhaust smog and then gradually reduce these areas to permissible limits: a familiar concept in Europe with its environmental zones.
About Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with more than 129 million mobile customers, approximately 37 million fixed-network lines and 16 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2010). The Group provides products and services for the fixed network, mobile communications, the Internet and IPTV for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in over 50 countries and has more than 250,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 64.6 billion in the 2009 financial year – more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2009).
Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. T-Systems provides integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. The company’s some 45,300 employees combine industry expertise and ICT innovations to add significant value to customers’ core business all over the world. T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 8.8 billion in the 2009 financial year.
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