Mobile data set to give big boost to transport planning in 2016

During the last few months of 2015, there has been increased acceptance and adoption of anonymised mobile phone data by the public sector and leading commercial organisations as a reliable indicator of vehicle and pedestrian movements. Following the teaming up of industry body ACE and UK tech company Citi Logik, it’s likely that 2016 will see a step-change in transport planning and traffic engineering, as traditional data collection methods such as manual and automated traffic counts and video surveillance are replaced by predictive 'big data’ techniques.  

ACE has partnered with Citi Logik, a market leader in understanding demand patterns derived from anonymised mobile network data. The Bedfordshire-based technology company provides insight into the way people move on foot, in a vehicle or by train and has developed new ways of identifying and analysing demand activity, which can be applied to complex spatial challenges in the transport, intelligent mobility, smarter cities, and built environment sectors.

Stephen Leece, managing director of Citi Logik, said “Since we were established in 2011 with funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board to develop insights and predictive analytics derived from anonymised mobile network data, we have grown from strength to strength, participating in the Smart Cities Expo in Barcelona and working on projects with London Underground, the Welsh Government and Heathrow Airport. All our data collection methods comply with UK data privacy laws and future EU regulations.”

Commenting on the new partnership, Anil Iyer, chief operating officer of ACE, said: “Over 100 ACE member companies provide consultancy services in transport planning and/or traffic engineering. Having started my career in that discipline I can relate to the importance of substantive and reliable data from which to develop transport models and engineer appropriate design solutions. Until now, sample size has always been a constraint - has enough information been collected, has it been collected on an appropriate day and how accurate are the origins and destinations of data?

“The use of anonymised mobile network data has tremendous potential in addressing all these issues. Some ACE members are already using this new technique and we wanted to increase this awareness. We will be starting this process by facilitating training and awareness sessions with Citi Logik in 2016.”

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