York, England Introducing Real-Time Transport Modeling

The city of York in England is the first city in the UK to introduce city-wide real-time transport modeling. The Smart Travel Evolution Programme (STEP) is aimed at improving journeys and reducing pollution in the city, and will involve generating a multi-layered, real time model of traffic, public transport, and air quality data. The eventual goal is to enable the city to prepare for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Phase one of the program began earlier this year, working to improve the connectivity and data collection of York’s transport technology assets. Phase two – in partnership with Alchera Technologies – will introduce an intelligent data exchange platform to manage the underlying data structure and provide real-time data on the movement of vehicles around the city. Alchera Technologies is providing its cloud-based AI software, Alpha, to power the intelligent mobility and intelligent infrastructure applications. Alpha uses advanced machine learning, data fusion, and analytics to aid in data-driven decision making throughout council transport and mobility operations – providing absolute, real-time and predicted data on vehicle and pedestrian movements around the city.

“We’re still in the early deployment phase of Alpha and we expect the platform to be fully enabled by the end of the year,” says Dave Atkinson, head of transport at City of York Council. “Previously, the council has monitored the network through staff checking CCTV and social media feeds, with network monitoring operators and transport engineers manually implementing new signal changes to better manage the flow of traffic in busy periods. Alpha will be the data powerhouse working integrating with cutting edge traffic modeling software to provide network optimisation and predictions.”

STEP is funded by a £2.85m (~US$3.48m) award from the UK Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund.