Another dot in the blogosphere?

Bumpiness vs jerkiness

Posted on: June 20, 2014

I was excited to read about Singapore’s plans to trial a Smart Nation Platform (SNP) in the Jurong Lake District. This was reported in CNA and STonline.

Examples of what such a system could do was highlighted in the latter as:

Using your smartphone to sense the bumpiness of a bus ride and sending the data back to the local authorities will soon be a click away. Similarly, drivers will not be able to get away with illegal parking when advanced cameras that automate the work of enforcement officers are turned on. These cameras can also detect people smoking in prohibited zones.

I am not going to make a statement about us being police state version 2 because that is not all the system does.

The trial is slated to begin in “the third quarter of this year in Singapore’s push to be a smart nation to improve citizens’ quality of life.” A system that deters inconsiderate behaviour like indiscriminate parking or smoking is great.

Instead of the bumpiness of a bus ride, I would rather the system detect the jerkiness of one. Bumpiness reflects the condition of the road. Having a system that detects road defects is good. Having a system that provides evidence of errant bus drivers is better.

If you take public transport as often as I do here, you know that bus drivers only behave when inspectors or supervisors are on board. Otherwise they pretend to be Grand Prix drivers on quiet roads, roll over speed bumps like they were not there, speed up just before pulling into bus bays only to test their brakes, and provide their best simulation of a horizontal roller coaster.

I hope we have systems that improve human behaviours. That would make the quality of life better here.

If the SNP includes roads, I suggest this idea.

Video source

We have an abundance of sunlight and we could use a system of roads and surfaces that are easy to repair and configure, take away our torrential rain, and generate electricity to boot. It is a system that minimizes our carbon footprint, encourages the use of recycled materials, and creates jobs.

I do not think I am being a jerk to suggest that we be humble enough to accept that someone else had a better idea and to work with them to scale it up in small country like ours. I think it is a bump in the right direction.

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