Big data could fuel reduced congestion worldwide

trafficWith more than a billion vehicles on roads around the world, traffic congestion affects millions of people each day. Traffic congestion eats up precious time and money, and sometimes results in psychological and physical health implications.

Traffic congestion can seem inevitable. However, TomTom, a global leader in navigation and mapping products, is challenging this conventional thinking. In its Traffic Manifesto, TomTom advocates using big data analytics and smart mobility to reduce traffic congestion for all.

In the opening session of the annual CTS Transportation Research Conference on May 20, keynote speaker Ralf-Peter Schäfer, vice president of TomTom’s Traffic and Travel Information Product Unit, described how big data can help reduce congestion worldwide.

“With the emergence of connected GPS systems, smartphones, and smart cars, we suddenly have millions of connected users on the road, which has allowed us to gather huge amounts of real-time floating vehicle data based on real trips,” Schäfer said.

Through road traffic analytics, massive amount of data can be converted into information such as route travel times, road segment speeds, vehicle flow and density, city performance analysis, speed profiles for navigation, and origin-destination traffic flow analysis. These analytics can then be used to plan trips, help transportation planning organizations and governments, or even help outdoor advertisers determine the best placement for billboards.

Advanced analytics can also improve roadway safety by warning drivers about weather-related problems, road construction, and unexpected congestion. Advanced navigation technology also has the power to reduce congestion for all road users—whether or not they use the technology themselves.

Read the full article in the July issue of Catalyst.

Posted in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Technology, Traffic data, Uncategorized

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