Traffic information is certainly needed by everyone. That means we need to have it available on all sorts of devices using all sorts of applications. So why not open standards so the information can be available and used to help us all get from point A to point B in less time and with less frustration/hassle?
I see a future where Advanced Traveler Information Systems are capable of advising travelers of suggested travel route changes due to traffic congestion changes…all in real time. An integrated system would need to be able to draw real-time information from any type of transportation in the region, then process that information against the traveler’s requests/needs, then provide that information back to the traveler in the format needed for the traveler’s device and application.
Here is a scenario….
1. Jack receives an email from his global head of marketing that an important client will be visiting London to discuss a new deal. Jack is to host dinner for the global client on Friday evening at Nobu in London.
2. Jack books a table over the Internet for 1900 on Friday and puts the details into his Lotus Calendar.
10:00 – The day has not started well: Jack is in back-to-back meetings the entire day with some client issues.
17:30 – Jack’s online calendar reminds him of the dinner and alerts him of his travel options based on reaching the restaurant by 1900:
- Taxi: due to ongoing road works on the route, there is a bad traffic jam along the route – he would need to leave the office by 1800. The estimated cost was £25.
- Bus: as there were bus lanes throughout the route, the road works would not impact the journey too significantly – he would need to leave the office by 1810. The cost would be £2.
- Tube & walking: the Piccadilly line was currently on schedule; he would need to start walking to the Tube by 1815. The cost would be £3.
The application on Jack’s smartphone recommends that Jack go with option 4: Tube and walking.
18:20 - On Jack’s walk to the Tube, his smartphone alerts him of a security incident on the Bakerloo Tube line. If he were to continue with the planned route, he would arrive at the restaurant only at 1945. It advises him to change his route by walking to the nearest bus stop. The bus route would get him to the restaurant at 1910.
19:10 – Jack arrives at the restaurant slightly late but thankfully his guest has not yet arrived – the guest took a taxi and was caught in a traffic jam!
The successful outcome in the scenario above is dependent on open transportation information standards and Advanced Traveler Information Systems, including
- An extensive sensor-based transportation system operating in the region where real-time information is collected on every type of transportation available to the traveler
- An back office analytics-rich system capable of analyzing the millions of transactions coming into the system for each mode of transportation
- Applications available on personal mobile handheld devices capable of interacting with the regional Advanced Traveler Information System. The mobile application needs to be able to become an agent for the person, acting on stored personal preferences, the calendar for the day, and the real-time information available from the regional system.