Transportation: Page 6 of 9

Sun, 2015-10-25 20:52 -- Jon DeKeles
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No surprise that analytics can have a major impact in a transportation network. This section includes some new targets that reveal how.
Achieve full situational awareness. Using the smart devices deployed across various transportation modes, smart cities use analytics to provide their transportation managers with a complete operating picture. This increases the reliability and resiliency of the infrastructure, and allows for the quickest possible incident response time. Full situational awareness also enables dynamic, multi-modal disaster and recovery plans.

Achieve multi-modal operational optimization for transportation. When it comes to optimizing transportation operations, the goal is to make sure the optimization takes place across all modes, in or near real time depending on circumstances. Cities that optimize transport modes individually limit the returns on their technology investments, since a change or incident in one mode will likely impact another. An example is a problem that shuts down a subway line, sending a big influx of riders to the closest bus.

There are many ways that multi-modal optimization improves transit operations, including:
Improved mobility. Travel is as fast, efficient and safe as possible. Traffic lights are optimized to eliminate structural traffic problems. Or to find the best compromise to allow streetcars to pass with minimum delays for auto traffic. Likewise, data analysis might suggest a new bus route along a particularly crowded transit corridor. Or a smartphone app could alert drivers to the best route, sending them around congestion and accidents. Improved mobility is important to residents, of course, but is also critical for businesses that move people or goods around a city.
Cost savings. In addition to the cost benefits of reduced congestion, multi-modal transport optimization brings cost benefits to cities through more efficient energy usage and improved customer experience.  (As noted earlier, the better the experience the more willing people are to use public transportation.) In some scenarios system optimization can reduce costs through shared infrastructure – especially ICT resources – and by getting more out of existing infrastructure. It can also defer or delay the need for new roadways or additional buses by optimizing the use of what the city has in place already.