Google is turning some of its attention to helping cities tackle urban mobility problems by using some of the vast amounts of data it collects. They’ve already been working on some pilot programmes in cities in Europe. In their blog post about the work they highlight one such example from the Netherlands
It’s still early days, but preliminary results have been positive. In the Netherlands, TNO ran tests on a 10km stretch of highway that regularly faces traffic jams, using our anonymized traffic statistics instead of physical road sensors. They found that they could still accurately detect traffic jams at the right moment and at the correct location on the road without the sensors, potentially saving 50K Euro per year if the redundant sensors were removed. Other pilots are starting to show similarly positive results.
They’ve put together a little video talking about what they’re doing.
Traffic congestion in urban areas wastes time, fuel, causes air pollution, and generally increases the cost of living. So with cities and research partners, we began exploring how traffic information could be used to improve urban mobility for everyone.
In a series of pilot projects we are working together to minimize traffic congestion, speed up journeys, improve safety, and reduce the amount of money spent on infrastructure. We’re excited by the promise that these initial projects have shown and pleased to announce that we’re expanding our pilot programme.
Perhaps Auckland Transport and/or the NZTA should consider looking at this. Do you have any suggestions as to what they could use data from google for?