One of the seven challenges as identified by Horizon2020, the Transport Challenge set its eyes to contribute to seven key objectives:

  • Resource-efficient transport that respects the environment
  • Better and more informed door-to-door mobility,
  • Less congestion and unforeseen delays,
  • Safer and more reliable multi-modal mobility,
  • Secure exchange of personal information,
  • Global leadership for the European transport industry, and,
  • Socio-economic and behavioural research and forward looking activities for policy making.

Intelligent Transport Solutions rely on knowledge; and knowledge relies on data. Many actors in a fragmented market do collect large amount of data, aggregating and processing it is the difficult part.

The smarter we use the data we gather, the more benefits it can provide to governments, businesses and individuals alike.  It can help in developing more efficient city plans by understanding commuter behaviour. From a business perspective, collecting data on goods can optimize workloads, enhance efficiency in the freight industry and enable customers to track their shipments. Finally, it can help out individuals by deploying a system that lets them move around when and how they wish.

What big data can also do is change our behaviour – or answer changing needs.

We can become more informed decision makers; make smarter, greener and more circumspect choices when it comes to mobility. In the era of community and connectivity, community-based applications that enable us to share our information have found their way into transport as well giving way to numerous applications that make it easier to get around. By involving the drivers (and cyclists, or even pedestrians) themselves, the span of data collection and sharing has expanded rapidly and we no longer rely solely on the sensors of radars and road loops. The potential is enormous, the technology is out there, and once we can figure out the best ways to process it and use the knowledge it has within, the mobility of tomorrow won’t seem that far anymore.

In the following, we will launch a series of blog posts on how big data can revolutionize transport and mobility covering topics from RFID tags though the potential of wearables to new technologies just around the corner.

We are also holding a first of a series of annual workshops, to be held in Bordeaux on 7 October during the ITS World Congress. The workshop will focus on the elicitation of requirements for Big Data management within the intelligent transport domain and participants will have a unique opportunity to influence the design of the Big Data platform that the project will deliver.

For now, we invite you to find out more on the BigDataEurope project, and the Transport challenge, join the discussion on the W3C Group or subscribe to the newsletter to find out more on how you can get involved and what we are doing.