2011 Jaguar XJEnlarge Photo
2011 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus EditionEnlarge Photo
Traffic congestion isn't just annoying, it's wasteful. Every year, American drivers fritter away nearly a week of their lives and 26 gallons of gas while stuck on crowded roads. All told, that's enough fuel to fill 58 supertankers. Thankfully, IBM's industrious team of scientists are working on a system that will soon provide highly personalized transportation suggestions, allowing those who use it to travel more quickly and efficiently.
"But wait," you say, "doesn't my satnav already do that?" Well, it does and it doesn't. Most satellite navigation systems -- including advanced models like the one in the 2011 Jaguar XJ and even some found on the iPhone -- rely on a traffic data service like INRIX to generate driving suggestions or to give a rough idea of how long a commute might take.
The IBM system does that, too, but it relies on significantly more sources of data. In essence, it aggregates up-to-the-minute information on traffic, weather, police activity, and so on, then combines that data with factors like the time of day, the day of the week, and local traffic patterns to get drivers where they need to be as quickly as possible. If the system expects a commute to take too long, it can suggest alternate methods of transport, like buses and ferries. And if users opt for public transportation, it can even tell them whether the trains are running on time. In short, IBM has combined predictive modeling with real-time information to create something more than a just a driving tool: it's a travel tool.
IBM is planning a handful of pilot programs to test the system in markets around the U.S. The data will be available to program participants online (useful before commuters leave their homes) and on a range of mobile devices.
In conjunction with all this, IBM is launching something called the Travel and Transportation Center of Competency. (Sounds a little Stalin-esque, no?) The Center of Competency will use data from IBM's travel system to provide transport solutions for businesses. For example, folks from IBM used data modeling to help COSCO reduce shipping and logistics expenses by 23% and cut CO2 emissions by 15%. Properly deployed, IBM may have just found itself a very nice new profit center.
For full details, check the press release below or visit IBM's Smarter Planet site.
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At a smarter transportation-focused event today in Washington, D.C., IBM ( IBM) announced a new research initiative to build personalized travel routes for commuters to avoid traffic gridlock. IBM researchers are using advanced analytics to develop adaptive traffic systems that will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today.
IBM researchers are developing new models that will predict the outcomes of varying transportation routes to provide a personalized recommendation that get commuters where they need to go in the fastest time. This project intends to provide information that goes well beyond traditional traffic reports, after-the fact devices that only indicate where you are already located in a traffic jam, and web-based applications that give estimated travel time in traffic.