Traffic jams prediction
Traffic jams are a major issue in cities that have several economic, environmental and social externalities. Nowadays, a number of large and small companies are providing sets of solutions to traffic problems using real time information, but it is still not possible to predict the difficulties in advance in order to have more time to plan alternative routes.
Federal University of Minas Gerais and Microsoft are working together in the Traffic Prediction Project. The project aims to develop a reliable predictive solution regarding traffic jams. For this purpose, data such as historical numbers, driver´s social networks, transportation departments and Microsoft´s Bing traffic maps will be gathered and analyzed. It will allow the entities involved to figure out the possibility of the prediction of traffic jams from 15 to 60 minutes in advance.
Cycling difficulties in cities
Image: Ursula Bach. www.visitcopenhagen.dk
Cities are making a great effort to foster cycling in order to achieve a better and more sustainable urban environment. But there are still many gaps to cover and different solutions are being developed at the moment.
Rankings are being developed in order to benchmark the top bike-friendly city, based on the number of cyclists who commute to work, the number of bicycling fatalities and funds allocated for bike/pedestrian projects. But sometimes it also exists a gap between reality and statistics. Cyclists and other fonts report the inefficiency of the network of bike lanes and sharrows (shared-lane markings) that bike commuters deal with everyday in some of the cities that have been reported as the most bike-friendly in rankings.
Different initiatives are being developed to fill the gaps in the cycling network. One example is the elevated cycle bridges that are being planned and developed by cities like London and Copenhaguen. It is discussed if they are the best alternative, but solutions must be provided to avoid bike lanes to nowhere.
Self-driving cars will not solve traffic congestion problems…soon.
The common use of self-driving cars is expected to solve many of the traffic problems that cities are currently facing. But self-driving cars will not be as much a common place in the following years as some think. This is one of the conclusions that can be extracted from the IBM´s Report “Automotive 2025: Industry without borders”. The elaboration of this report implied interviews to 175 executives from automobile manufacturers, as well as suppliers and other stakeholders involved in mobility in 21 countries. The report highlights three primary disruptors of the market –consumers, mobility and the ecosystem, that are causing industry boundaries to blur and, as they suggest, even to disappear.
Smart fleet services in Qatar
Smart solutions are also being introduced in any type of company that has a fleet of vehicles, whether they operate in the services sector, transport and logistics, passenger transportation or construction.
This is the case of the Ooredoo “Smart Fleet” solution, which provides an innovative cloud based service and deploys GPS and GSM technology to centralize and manage all transport related information. It allows companies to plan fleet activities, reduce operational costs and optimize resources.
The main benefit expected for the city will be a reduction of traffic congestion, but it is also aimed to boost the knowledge-based economy objectives aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030.