Mobile Utopia Is Just A Hop Away

Do yourself a favor. If you haven’t seen Disney’s Zootopia, make it a bullet point on your to-do list. Write it on a sticky. Send yourself an email. Put it in a task app. It’s a clever, thought-provoking story centered in, you guessed it, Zootopia.

The movie follows the journey of Judy Hopps, a lovable little bunny that yearns for a big job in a big city. It’s a story we can all relate to; following your dreams despite what others — and the circumstances — might say to derail your destiny. Hopps is met throughout the movie with naysayers who scoff at her pursuit of becoming a police officer; the first bunny rabbit to ever earn the badge. Typically, the police force is reserved for leopards, rhinos, and oxen, you know, the typical big brawny types. A rabbit just doesn’t fit.

Before you think this is a movie review, there are actually some pretty relevant cases for today’s parking and transportation landscape.

Let’s fast-forward the movie–spoiler alert–Judy becomes a police officer. Her first assignment? Parking duty. Naturally, a bunny rabbit would be a fast enforcer. They’re quick, agile, and able to reach a pretty high top speed. But it’s not just her zoological traits that aid her in racking up the record for issued parking citations in a day. It’s her mobile device.

Parking Enforcement Software

Nimble, lightweight, and incredibly efficient, Judy Hopps zigs and zags through the Zootopia streets issuing ticket after ticket, punching in license plate numbers into her mobile device, printing tickets on the spot, and slipping the citation under the windshield wiper.

Now, Zootopia is an incredibly advanced city. Disney’s animators spared no expense in crafting a state-of-the-art city, bustling with all the new shiny innovations that modern software can dream up. Amidst this futuristic backdrop, here is a little bunny hopping along, using software that is available in the field today.

Real-time citation software, coupled with connected mobile devices, are changing the way enforcement officers are able to operate. Gone are the days of hand-written tickets or clunky devices that need to be docked and downloaded at the end of the day. This brings huge benefits. Time savings. Reduced errors and costs. Better data. Better decisions. This isn’t the stuff of Hollywood. It is improving operations for our clients today that use our citation management software platform.

Who wouldn’t want to get through their work day with the speed of a rabbit? With innovative technology, it’s more than a utopian experiment–it’s reality.

Smart Rail Systems

When Judy Hopps makes her way from the small farmlands to the advanced culture of Zootopia, we are greeted with a super montage of a smart rail system.

One of the biggest factors of this system isn’t the technology behind it, the futuristic design of the tracks or the trains, or even the gorgeous environments in the backdrop. It is the fact that the transportation system truly connects the city. The fictional metropolis is divided into several districts, like Tundratown or the Rainforest District, all connected to the downtown area by the transit system. After all, this is what sophistication should be. Not necessarily the technology, but the efforts to connect people to places. Public transit can, in no small way, make or break the economic chances of a city’s citizens. For lower income groups, it plays an important factor in getting to job interviews, making it to work at a central business district, or being able to shop for quality fruits and vegetables. Ease of access is critical and filling transportation gaps can aid in job opportunities and shrink food deserts.

Some cities around the world are providing critical connectivity to its residents. Take Munich, for example. With an integrated transit system that connects outer corners of the city to its center, the city also boasts a two minute time lapse between trains in the central corridor. That is incredibly important for people needing to get from point A to B, especially if they were to miss their first chance. Could you imagine missing a train and then ultimately your job interview? It would be even worse if a train delay in the system caused it. That’s real life consequences.

In the United States, the City of Denver is trying to add a quality infrastructure that encourages transit ridership. With its FasTracks proposal, the city aimed to add miles and miles of rail line, more bus routes, park-and-rides, and of course, reinforce its popular biking and environmental culture. It’s expensive and ambitious, but it may be a step in the right direction for future cities that need to help its citizens compete in a complex economy.

Mobile technology is making this even more of a reality, with ticketing applications on smartphones that allow you to plan, track, and pay for your preferred method of public transit. This ability for riders translates into better data for agencies, creating a feedback loop that ultimately makes the entire ecosystem more efficient. These private and public partnerships are being showcased in cities like Jacksonville and Sacramento.

Obviously Zootopia is a fictional city, but the technology used to support a connected city is happening today, provided by innovative companies who are partnering with government agencies to make the future possible.

The world needs more Judy Hopps and it also needs smarter technology to power it.