HOUSTON — May 5, 2010 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the largest university-based transportation research agency in the U.S., have agreed to collaborate on research and development of intelligent transportation projects in Texas and beyond.
The agreement will bring together research scientists and engineers from IBM and TTI researchers, faculty and students, who will work with state and municipal agencies to explore technologies and innovations that will help solve transportation issues in Texas initially, and eventually worldwide.
The main objectives of the IBM-TTI collaboration are two-fold:
- To jointly pursue funding of selected transportation initiatives that are part of the federal intelligent transportation research agenda.
- To create a long-term, sustainable operational model open to state transportation agencies and universities in the U.S. and around the world.
In the near term, the collaboration will provide the opportunity for proofs-of-concept and extensive pilot deployments at the state and regional level.
“Our goal in this collaboration with IBM is to remove barriers between industrial research, universities and transportation agencies and to foster collaborative, applied research between those groups,” said Dennis Christiansen, agency director, TTI. “In doing so, we will open the door to innovations that have the potential to improve the way our transportation systems work.”
TTI is working on projects with local and national research sponsors related to traffic data and mobility applications. These projects include new transportation management strategies to help public agencies operate freeways, streets and transit systems more efficiently.
“The trend in transportation management is to use data to predict future traffic conditions and allow agencies to implement strategies and provide traveler information in anticipation of those future conditions” said Christopher Poe, assistant agency director, TTI.
When it comes to addressing traffic problems today, transportation agencies are largely reactive, focusing on isolated incidents and single areas of congestion. Through innovations such as road sensors and predictive analytics, transportation systems can be made smarter, allowing agencies to be more proactive in dealing with traffic issues. For example, technologies exist today that make it possible to predict traffic conditions anywhere from an hour to 15 minutes in advance, providing drivers with valuable information on what is going to happen, rather than what has already happened — even before they get in their vehicles.
“This collaboration is significant because it combines IBM’s global expertise in smarter transportation projects and technologies, which range from traffic prediction tools to road charging systems to high speed rail, with TTI, one of the leading institutions in transportation research,” said Dr. Laura Wynter, transportation research scientist, IBM Research. “Together, we will work to conduct research, secure funding, and develop solutions incorporating multiple modes of transportation.”
Beyond easing traffic congestion, smarter transportation systems can help reduce accidents, improve emergency response times, lead to cost savings, and increase community livability by promoting increased use of public transit. In addition, intelligent transportation projects have the potential to drive sustainable economic development through the creation of new jobs, technologies and businesses.
IBM has already helped several cities around the world make their transportation systems smarter. For example, the city of Stockholm is using IBM’s streaming analytics technology to gather real-time information from GPS devices on nearly 1,500 taxi cabs to provide the city and its residents with real-time information on traffic flow, travel times and the best commuting options. The service will soon expand to gather data from delivery trucks, traffic sensors, transit systems, pollutions monitors and weather information sources. IBM is also assisting the cities of Brisbane, London and Singapore to address traffic management and congestion challenges.
For more information on these and other IBM Smarter Transportation projects, visit http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/transportation.
About Texas Transportation Institute
A member of The Texas A&M University System, TTI employs more than 600 researchers, students and support staff. TTI is recognized nationally for its expertise in all modes of transportation and has been extensively involved in transportation research for almost 60 years. TTI’s research in intelligent transportation systems spans a wide range of topics, from technology applications such as travel-time reliability, traffic prediction and technologies for mobile computing, to accident prevention, emergency vehicle dispatch, policy development and revenue forecasting. At any one time, TTI has research projects in about 30 U.S. states and 20 foreign countries. For more information, visit, http://tti.tamu.edu.