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Never mind the hype – the Internet of Transport is here today

The Internet of Things (IoT) is big news at the moment, and is set to be a key part of our lives in the future.

From kettles that will tell you when they’ve boiled, to home medical monitoring systems the list of possibilities is endless.


IoT has a projected growth worth of $50 billion over the next few years and it’s easy to see why many governments, corporations and SMEs are keen to get involved.

In many ways, the ITS sector has been doing IoT for years – collecting and disseminating data from sensors at the roadside, with the only difference being that this information has only recently been shared with road users. Our focus has been on intelligent transport systems for many years, as it represents a core part of our business.

As the move towards IoT continues and a more connected world, the traditional ITS sensor networks will evolve and just become part of the overall connected environment.

There is a lot we can learn from many of the initiatives and interest around IoT that can benefit both suppliers and users of ITS systems.

One of the biggest challenges facing many organisations using ITS is interoperability between systems. Whilst there are a number of historical reasons for the complexities of integration, it’s time to look forward and embrace the Internet of Transport.

The use of ITS systems that provide open, maintained and widely available data formats such as XML (Extensible Markup Language) benefit both the user and the supplier.

The cost of integration is significantly lower, due to the open standard of these data formats – enabling many suppliers to provide interoperability out-of-the box.

It also enables these sources of data to be re-purposed or used in combination with other data to create valuable new insights and intelligence that can be relevant to a wider audience. This opens up opportunities in traffic data collection too, of course.

Widespread adoption of such formats as the de facto standard outside of the ITS sector also brings an extensive knowledgebase and expertise in combining seemingly large unconnected data sets, as well as a fresh perspective on how data can be used, plus the significant the benefits of being maintained by global organisations – such as the World Wide Web consortium ensuring long-term compatibility.

Here at Clearview Traffic, we recognise that a transitional approach is the more realistic option, and that is reflected in a number of initiatives and developments we are involved in.

One of these is our Insight platform, which was developed to provide in-built support to automatically convert legacy proprietary data formats into open standards XML and JSON data feeds.

Designed in a unique way to enable any authorised user to generate open data without the need to understand the technical aspects, thus reducing the time and cost of sharing data. Anything that enhances and increases the speed of traffic data collection is positive, as far as we’re concerned.

Clearview Traffic are also partners in the oneTRANSPORT project, which has been funded by Innovate UK to develop a platform for sharing transport data and applications. This represents a powerful potential traffic data solution in the UK.

The oneTRANSPORT platform makes use of the IoT architecture, to integrate sensors and data from multiple vendors and local authorities.

The emergence of IoT presents both opportunities and challenges for ITS, but at Clearview Traffic we are looking forward to embracing the change and working with our customers and partners to deliver intelligence driven solutions that empower citizens and make road work.

If you have a challenge that you would like help with, please contact us here.

Author: |Date Published: November 2015

Links: Traffic Flow Monitoring

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