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WE HAVE SMARTS GALORE: smart phones, smart kitchen appliances, smart clothes, smart cars, even smart cities. But what exactly does this term mean? 

More than just stamping the tops of oil cans, SAE International’s development of standards is an important part of its mission: “Standards,” SAE says, “promote and facilitate safety, productivity, reliability, efficiency, and certification.” 

With this in mind, SAE recently published an Update with a Tech Focus on Smart Cities: Its topics include pedestrian safety, urban air mobility, transit systems, personal scooters and one-wheelers, and even a thoughtful essay with two seemingly contradictory conclusions. 

Here in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow are tidbits gleaned from this Update, together with my usual Internet sleuthing. 

V2P. Ozgenur Kavas-Torris is a Research and Advanced Engineering Software Engineer at Ford Motor Co. She writes, “Smart cites, where sensors and infrastructure are utilized as part of an Internet of Things (IoT) in collecting and sharing data, can be the gateway to improved pedestrian and vulnerable road user safety.” 

This and the following image from SAE Update, November 2022.

Kavas-Torris cites V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) algorithms and their benefits improving fuel economy, ride comfort, and trip time. Familiar examples range from broadcast traffic advisories to real-time smart phone navigation. 

She adds V2P (vehicle-to-pedestrian), equivalently P2V: “New research shows that smart-phone-based communication technologies can also be used to expand interconnectivity in smart cities to aid in improving pedestrian safety.” Included as well are bicyclists, other vulnerable road users sharing the roadway with faster vehicles. 

Ubiquity of Smart Phones. “Almost every pedestrian and  vulnerable road user nowadays has a smart phone.” V2P, Kavas-Torris says, can prove “a simple, affordable, effective, and scalable solution.” She cites SAE paper 2022-01-0155, “Mobile Safety Application for Pedestrians Utilizing P2V Communication over Bluetooth,” from researchers at Ford and Ohio State University’s Automated Driving Lab. 

SAE as a Standards Developer. SAE has a Powered Mobility Vehicles Committee currently focusing on low-speed micromobility vehicles that have become increasingly evident in urban environments. Project Specialist Pooja Chaudhari is involved with establishing standards for these vehicles. Her article, “SAE Helps Pave Road for Scooters and One-Wheelers,” describes two Works in Progress in this important task.

“The Powered Micromobility Vehicle Identification document,” Chaudhari says, will “provide a means of identification of classes and characteristics through use of an alpha-numeric identifier.” Its purpose is to promote uniformity and comparability in safety data.

“Another WIP standard,” Chaudari notes, “establishes performance requirements for pedestrian alert sounds for powered standing and seated scooters as defined in SAE J3194.”

Tomorrow in Part 2, an SAE Update author argues that smart cities will never happen, yet we should build them anyway. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022

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