So much of modern life is a question of mobility. People need to travel from
one place to another, be it for work or for leisure, and businesses need to
deliver their goods and services when they’re wanted. On any given day,
millions of people in urban areas drive cars or take public transportation and thousands of items are delivered by commercial vehicles.
This massive movement of people and objects requires a complex infrastructure
that doesn’t always work as efficiently as one might like. City streets
quickly become clogged with traffic, highways are prone to slowdowns and
delays, parking spaces are at a premium and public transport can be a sea of
people at peak travel times.
Stalled traffic is a particular frustration, causing delays and impacting air
quality. Inrix, an analytics company that supplies information about traffic
congestion, reported that drivers in London, which is Europe’s second
most congested location after Moscow, spent an average of 74 hours in gridlock
in 2017, amounting to a cost of more than £1,000 per driver in wasted
fuel and lost time.
Private cars aren’t the only ones that get stuck in traffic, of course,
since commercial vehicles and public buses often share the same roadways, and
there are serious concerns about how all these various modes of transportation
impact global warming. Global atmospheric CO2 levels are hitting record highs,
and leading organizations, including the United Nations, warn that drastic
action is needed to meet the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement.
This two-fold concern about mobility – that is, the impact it has on
people as well as on the planet – of many Smart City initiatives, which
aim to use technology to improve mobility, by maximizing its efficiency while
minimizing its impact.
Smart Cities Build on Smart Mobility
Smart mobility is about making transport more connected, more efficient and
more flexible. It is the backbone for growth in today’s urban
environments, and can encompass everything from mass transit and car and
bike-sharing services to private cars and commercial vehicles. Taken as a
whole, smart mobility helps people and goods move more effectively and more
efficiently, so everyone – long-term resident or short-term visitor
– has a better day-to-day experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a basis for collaboration, offering a
convenient way to bring together players in the private and public sectors, so
new business models can emerge. Most of these IoT-driven initiatives focus on
the end-user experience, and emphasize the importance of delivering transport
services that are simple to use and provide easy access to valuable, real-time
information. The widespread adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices
plays into this as well, since so many people now carry or wear devices that
support interactions with IoT-driven services.
Smart Mobility Builds on MIFARE
The contactless smart card technology known as MIFARE is a foundational
technology in a wide range of smart-mobility applications, and is currently
used by roughly 1.2 billion people in over 750 cities to access city services.
A larger portion of this activity is in public transportation, where MIFARE is
the leading brand for contactless tickets, and in smart-city applications that
use multi-application smart cards and other devices, for things like combined
payment and access functionality.
Contactless technology is unrivalled, in terms of reliability, cost of system
ownership, and scalability and is a leading choice for smart mobility
applications of all kinds. As MIFARE continues to grow, and is adopted by more
service providers, device manufacturers and city services, billions of people
around the globe will use it to navigate and move in urban areas and to manage
the transport of goods.
MIFARE is at the core of several important trends that will move smart
Delivering More Connected Journeys
MIFARE makes it easier to use public transportation. It can be fully
integrated with services that help residents and visitors gather
information, plan trips, purchase tickets, stay connected during the
journey and get real-time suggestions for alternative routes if
there’s an outage, an accident or some other delay.
Support for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Because MIFARE supports secure authentication, it provides trust between
consumers and service providers, so people can access services with
confidence. This, together with the fast growing spread of MIFARE across end
customer devices, supports the trend toward BYOD operation, where people use
their own devices to make purchases, place orders or coordinate service
Sharing Services for Increased Efficiency
MIFARE is part of sharing services, which increase mobility by limiting the
amount of time that things like bikes and cars sit idle. Instead of a car or
bike being parked most of the day, waiting for someone to use it, sharing
services let multiple people make use of a single bike or car, so
there’s higher utilization and less waste. Bike- and car-sharing
programs on the rise in urban areas across the globe, and are expected to
continue growing. In Europe alone, for example, more than 15 million users
are expected to participate in car-sharing programs by 2020.
Public Transport for Reduced Emissions
Public transport makes
it more practical to live, work, and play in city environments and has the
added advantage of providing alternatives to fossil-fuel consumption, so it
can help lower greenhouse-gas emissions. In many countries, shifting away
from fossil fuels and expanding public transport is part of the effort to
meet the guidelines of the Paris Climate Agreement. MIFARE for ticketing
with journey planning gives transit agencies a cost-effective way to
increase throughput, and is an easily scalable format that supports
Support for GDPR Compliance
Service providers who have IoT deployments that operate in Europe will, as
of May 25, 2018, need to comply with the European Union’s General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which specifies guidelines for protecting
private citizen data. The security features of MIFARE, which include support
for cryptography and privacy protection, meet the GDPR requirements and
help service providers ensure that any private information associated with a
MIFARE service can be protected according to their needs.
The Way Forward
As urban populations continue to grow, concerns over worsening congestion,
pollution and quality of life are driving innovation and accelerating the
arrival of Smart City technologies. Smart mobility is an essential part of
this picture, since the logistics of moving people and goods is so central to
As a technology partner, offering secure connectivity in the IoT, NXP is
collaborating with other technologists and experts in transportation around
the world to define, develop and deploy new ways to improve mobility.
We’re leveraging our know-how in wireless connectivity, security and
application control – and our long-standing experience in contactless
authentication, payment and rewards with MIFARE – to support the
advancement of smart mobility.
It’s part of our commitment to making urban environments safer,
cleaner and more enjoyable for everyone.
Join NXP Semiconductors at IT-TRANS, the leading conference focusing on
intelligent transport systems, from March 6-8, 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Meet the NXP MIFARE Team at booth G8 and discover the latest mobility
Cities eliminate car parks
Traffic jams in UK cost average GPB 1,000
Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high
Paris Climate Agreement
ABI Research 2017
Automotive Car Sharing in Europe
Public Transport Trends