City of the Future

An Audi initiative is aiming to define the key terms for mobility in the city of the future – this should help cities plan and prepare for the oncoming surge of smart vehicles in the near, and distant, future.

Audi has founded a working group that, together with city governments, businesses and scientific institutions, is helping to define the future of mobility in and around “smart cities”. More than 200 terms that cover the topic of “intelligent individual urban mobility” – this pretty much means that they have addressed 200 functions of autonomous driving that will affect city planning.

This type of research is needed to allow urban planners to take account of plans being developed by companies like Audi that relate to mobility. If they were planning a city without this type of guidebook, they may miss out key features of future vehicles and lose out on their potential. Another reason Audi has defined these terms is because a lot of the technology behind smart vehicles depends on areas in cities for them to be used.

What is “driverless driving”? What is meant by “intelligent infrastructure”? What exactly does “piloted parking” look like? Seamless and sustainable mobility in cities is the aim of all urban planners. This is why Audi wants to clarify what we mean by “car sharing”, “ride hailing” or “fleet services”. There will be “drop-off areas” where drivers can leave their cars – potentially closer to the city centre – before they park themselves without a driver further away from the city.

In cities, “Hubs” will be the places to change from one mode of transportation to another. A city is defined as “smart” when it is “skilled in handling problems and finding solutions”. And a car is characterised as “intelligent” when it is “a system that is automated to a very large degree and that has comprehensive input variables and a complex control logic”.

City of the Future
City of the Future

“Demand responsive transportation” (or DRT) is the term used for a public service that can scale to demand, such as taxis and buses that can increase their quantity based on the time of day for example.

“Informal transportation” is a type of transportation that is not part of an official (formal) transportation system – think Uber taxis.

“Human Machine Interface” (or HMI) is the interface the people use in order to enter and receive information that needs to undergo machine processing.

“Hub” is a transfer point between traffic connections for one or more means of transportation. One example would be if you exit a train and get in to a car to travel the last mile.

“Last mile” a section of a route that connects users [to their destination].

City of the Future
Audi is addressing this publication to everyone involved in planning urban mobility in order to co-operate and collaborate to help shape smart cities of the future.