Alan Turing Institute and Toyota collaborate to modernise traffic management
The new project is expected to help develop the smart cities of the future while improving communities by tackling issues such as congestion and pollution…
The Alan Turing Institute and the Toyota Mobility Foundation are collaborating on a new project to transform the way cities are planned and managed.
‘Optimising flow within mobility systems with AI’ is part of the Turing’s new AI programme, and is looking to transition complex traffic management from static systems into dynamic, optimised systems that are managed in real-time across mobility modes.
The UN has predicted that by 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 per cent of the world’s population. In addition, there is an increase in ride-sharing platforms, changes in mode choices such as cycling, and same-day delivery fleets dramatically affecting traffic patterns. While environmental standards are improving, congestion in urban environments needs to be managed to maintain our health in cities.
Real-time events, changing conditions and evolving mobility patterns mean existing traffic management systems can no longer keep pace and must adapt to new needs in urban environments.
By working with real-time data and communications, city planners now have new tools. This creates the potential to dramatically improve the way our cities are run. Spanning 18 months, the new collaboration project will bring together researchers and software engineers with expertise across mathematics and data interaction, from the Turing and the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester and mobility expertise from the Toyota Mobility Foundation. They will be working with data providers and government managers underpinning future cities as well as drawing upon expertise from the Turing and partner universities’ ongoing work in the area with the Greater London Authority.
Potential outcomes include the integration of an AI system for traffic light control, a platform for interactive data manipulation to monitor traffic behaviour and the creation of mechanisms for fleet operators and cities to work together.
The outcomes of the project will be useful to urban planners managing current conditions in cities and prepare them for the future. A data-driven traffic management system should help optimise air quality, reduce energy consumption and improve system capacity and resilience.
Alan Wilson, CEO of The Alan Turing Institute and Lead Researcher, said: “Our vision is that city planners and operators should have a system that shows them real-time data feeds, lets them analyse how the city is working, integrates mathematical and computer modelling as well as machine learning models so that they can test out scenarios and gives them insight into when behaviour patterns are changing. Because of data and new technology, transport patterns can now change dramatically in a short time. We hope that this will lead to improvements in health and mobility for city populations as well as safety and efficiency in traffic management.”
Ryan Klem, Director of Programmes for the Toyota Mobility Foundation, added: “While there has been significant focus on AI inside the vehicle, we are excited for the opportunity to work with the Turing to bring data science and AI to a complementing facet of mobility: infrastructure. We believe mobility is critical to promoting societal progress and improving lives around the world and this project represents an important step to improve the social good and help achieve harmony in mobility across all modes for all citizens.”