As our towns and cities expand and grow, they face the prospect of increased traffic congestion and air pollution. In a 9-5 economy, the ‘rush hour’ problem is inescapable - too many people, too many vehicles, all wanting to use the roads at the same time.
According to the TomTom Traffic Index , Belfast is currently the UK’s most congested city with journeys taking an average of 43% longer. It’s followed by the gridlocked streets of Edinburgh and London (40%), then by Manchester (38%) and Brighton and Hove (36%).
Without a dramatic shift in working patterns, smarter solutions to easing congestion (and the resultant air pollution) need to be explored. The good news is that modern sensor technology, big data analytics
Strategic use of diverse datasets and big data analytics can improve the efficiency of transport infrastructure
A city in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, for example, installed more than 1,000 digital monitoring devices in the city’s key checkpoints. These sensors capture images and video data continuously, which is then processed in real-time to provide an analysis of traffic conditions, accidents and road violations.
“With 24 months of traffic violation image information stored in the system, traffic police departments easily retrieve vehicle information such as the colour, model, and license plate in real time along with other relevant information such as historical behaviour, driving routes, the vehicle’s operating company, and the identity of the driver.”
In Rio de Janeiro, agencies have been gathering, combining and
Singapore, meanwhile, is capturing data from RFID-equipped travel card use, CCTV footage, real-time taxi information and
Transport for London (TfL) arguably leads the way in this area. Its Open Data project currently provides more than 80 data feeds through a free unified API. These include feeds for air quality, tube times, passenger count data and live traffic disruptions. The availability of this data is reported to boost the capital’s economy by up to £130 million a year.
More than 600 apps are now being powered using these feeds, used by 42 percent of Londoners.
Jeni Tennison, CEO at the Open Data Institute said: "Open data is changing our everyday lives and how
In the right hands, big data analytics allows smart cities to connect previously unconnected information, to exchange and