A Cybernetic Approach for Changing Vehicular Circulation from Difficult to Smart in Cities of Developing Countries
Keywords:vehicle technology, system performance, cybernetic approach, developing countries, interdisciplinary, consensual, synergetic, punitive, urban circulation
We describe the partial results of a research in systems engineering for a specific socio-technical situation. It addresses the problem of urban circulation in Latin American cities not so technologically advanced. The rating of their circulation performance is very low, when travel times are considered, which produces big ecological, health and economic impacts. The problem is serious and it is still growing. The city traffic system is complex because of the large number of participants and because of the intricacies of their interrelationships. The difficulty of framing this research is observed in that it touches on five known thematic axes: Governance, Economy, Health, Ecology and Technology. The central idea to communicate is that the solution to the problem must be systemic. No feasible solutions will be obtained if the implemented actions are of trial-and-error nature, only technical or only social reductionist approaches, or copied from solutions designed for cities of different locations. The proposal is to gather the main city stakeholders at the systemic academic approach and to guide them consensually to the improvement process with tested and validated effective actions. Some of the difficulties that have been detected so far concern: describing the unstructured problem; setting up the soft systemic model and finding the feasibility conditions for the solution. After looking at the literature on the subject, outstanding scientific advances are found in the topics of the ecological automobile, the autonomous vehicle or the smart city, with proposals based on electromechanical, communications, and computing fields. They are taken into account for the project, but their expectation for been operative does not make them affordable for this case. Nevertheless, many autonomous vehicle details could be useful under a systemic view: what makes it operational is the information exchange with its environment. The synergetic operation of traffic in a congested city requires a proper information usage. In several studied cases, the urban infrastructure does not inform the driver about the restrictions, the driver does not take advantage of information to execute his actions and the traffic regulation does not profit of information to provide corrective actions. Moreover, punitive measures are privileged over preventive ones. Solving the congestion questions of these cities would only be possible if improving actions are also committed to the physical infrastructure, the traffic regulations and the respectful driving subsystems. For this reason, organizational transformation is imperative. Within the project, coordination between soft and hard system models is analyzed, aiming to carry out simulations of identified noteworthy conflict situations. And feasibility will be particularly taken into account before implementation through the agreement of the administrative, technical and social parties, based on the research work conducted at the systemic academic guide. The paper seeks to present the Systems Sciences as a theoretical and practical interdisciplinary science that enable certain solutions of the problematic situation on traffic congestion.