IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Telvent (NASDAQ: TLVT) announced that together they will develop smarter traffic solutions that are affordable and customized for small cities, university and government campuses and business districts.
While large urban areas like New York, Los Angeles and Houston have well-known traffic issues, congestion is also common in smaller cities and college campuses when populations and traffic on the road can spike during rush hour or weekend football games. It is estimated that even in areas with populations of less than 500,000 people, people spend up to 20 hours a week wasted on delays and it can cost cities millions of dollars each year.
Today transportation agencies are largely reactive to traffic issues and focus on isolated incidents and single areas of congestion. Taking advantage of predictive analytics and real-time information from road sensors allows agencies to be more proactive in dealing with traffic and mobility issues. The solution will apply IBM’s advanced analytics and Telvent’s traffic management expertise to give small urban areas visibility for better traffic control and improving congestion – at a price point for their budgets.
The solution can integrate and analyze data traffic control, road sensors, bus schedules, real-time GPS location and IBM’s advanced analytics. For example, a small city could tap data from GPS devices in sensors embedded in the roadway. They can analyze the information with sophisticated algorithms to predict traffic jams around a special event or large construction project before they happen. By predicting where a traffic jams will be in, say, an hour, drivers could be automatically notified ahead of ahead of time, multiple alternate routes could be suggested and public transportation schedules could be shifted to better handle demand. A large university would be able to anticipate and plan around local constraints on their traffic network like traffic incidents, a football game or unexpected loss of capacity by adjusting bus scheduling, parking information, readjusting traffic signals or rerouting traffic flow. Also, cities can use a wireless system that monitors the availability of parking spaces.
Transportation networks, no matter the size, are grappling with how to manage traffic, get more capacity out of existing infrastructure and create more sustainable transportation solutions. Congestion costs Americans more than $78 billion a year. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that combining the best practices in operational strategies, such as incident management and optimization of traffic signal control, can reduce total urban travel delay by 500 million hours per year (1).
The new transportation management and analytics system from IBM and Telvent is an affordable solution that provides real-time visibility across the entire transportation network and the ability to manage their operations and assets in a more integrated way. Operators can make quick decisions and adjustments to solve common traffic management issues and unanticipated congestion. They will also be able to implement proactive strategies to meet the demands of growing populations.
“Real-time visibility across a entire transportation network is key to better traffic management regardless of the size of the area or population, said Ignacio Gonzalez, Telvent Chief Executive Officer, “ We will be combining our expertise to give small urban areas transportation operators a cost-effective way to manage the unique mobility issues that they face, helping them improve operational performance, get more capacity out of their existing transportation networks and improving travelers’ experience.”
“Whether it is suburban sprawl, corridors with a number of businesses located close together or the limited routes across a university campus, existing infrastructure was not designed to handle the reality of traffic today,” said Rich Varos, Director, Intelligent Transportation Solutions, IBM. “By combining predictive analytics with the realities of system constraints, transportation operators of any size can implement more sustainable traffic planning, improved passenger services and increased efficiencies.”
Based on IBM’s Government Industry Framework and Telvent’s SmartMobility management suite, solution components include IBM Cognos, IBM Traffic Prediction Tool, DB2, and Telvent products such as MIST, SmartNET, Telvent SmartMobility Tolling, Telvent SmartMobility Parking and Integrated Corridor Management (ICM).