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Traffic flow ‘infobesity’ – is it real?

We’re noticing more and more at Clearview Traffic that wherever you look, you hear a lot of noise about big data and how we’re producing unthinkable volumes of data each and every day – but with very little of it still being put to any real use.

What is infobesity?

We came across a great term to describe this a few weeks back – the word is INFOBESITY.

Traffic Data Overload

Apparently it’s been used for quite a while and perhaps it is just rebranding of the term ‘information overload’, which according to Wikipedia, was itself a term popularized by Alvin Toffler in his bestselling 1970 book Future Shock.

We began wondering just how this applies to the work we do at Clearview Traffic and the data our roadside devices provide. Whilst jotting down some figure within our team, we came up with some mind-blowing statistics advocating the incredible work we do on a daily basis.

Infobesity in real life

Clearview Traffic currently provides over 2,500 of our vehicle count/classify devices on the UK’s NTIS network.

You might not instantly know of them, but you have all passed any number of them along the road in the past month.

They are quite easily identified as most of them use our iconic painted green pole with a solar panel at the top; at the bottom of this pole there is a small secure enclosure in which we house and power the loop counters.

On average across the day, each one of these devices is recording around 1,500 vehicle movements per hour.

Per day, that equates to 36,000 vehicles from just one device or circa 90 million vehicle movements every day across the network or nearly 33 billion vehicles per year. That’s massive.

That’s true infobesity and yet whilst this data is incredibly significant for understand road use and applying that intelligence to feed road maintenance patterns, it’s fair to say we don’t make nearly enough use out of the value in that data.

And that is just on one portion of our road network; a network that is estimated as seeing 306.4 billion vehicle miles in 2013.

On this one island that only represents about 1% of the total worldwide road infrastructure, which now exceeds well over 30,000,000 miles.

How do you think we could use this data more? We’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to find out more about our Clearview Traffic Group, please feel free to get in touch here.

Author: |Date Published: March 2014

Links: Traffic Flow Monitoring

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