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Singapore’s LTA using ‘big data’ analytics for traffic management

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been using ‘big data’ analytics in its highly sophisticated and integrated Intelligent Transport System (ITS), in order to collect, process and disseminate real-time traffic and transport data. Speaking to over 100 city administrators from around the world at the ‘Cities and Big Data Summit’ taking place in Singapore, Chang Mook Choong, deputy director of the LTA’s ITS development division, described how the agency has harnessed technology to optimize the use and efficiency of the country’s transportation infrastructure, improved safety and enhanced the travelling experience of commuters. “LTA’s three key strategies are to provide innovative mobility solutions, establish collaborative partnership, as well as develop and adopt technology standards,” Chang said.

The LTA currently collects data from several sources, including: road sensors; the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS); the Green Link Determining System (GLIDE), which controls over 2,000 traffic lights to enhance drivers’ experience; Junction Electronic Eyes; TrafficScan, which uses GPS technology fitted to 9,500 taxis to monitor real-time road conditions; the city’s Parking Guidance System; and data crowd-sourced from the public. “We started out with several systems, each collecting and processing data separately. However, in order to make sense of all data, we have now integrated all into the unified ‘i-Transport Platform’,” Chang explained. “Using a single interface, our operators can now make sense of different sources of data. The platform fuses raw traffic data, so that it can be converted into meaningful traffic information.” Once data has been processed into information that is relevant and useful, the LTA disseminates it via electronic variable message signs (VMS) on the roads, internet portals, its Twitter account, radio, and mobile cell phone applications. Chang concluded, “Data is also made available to the industry to encourage collaboration. Companies have used the data for navigation devices and to create new innovative applications.”

April 22, 2014

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