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By Pam Nesbitt

More than two million vehicles travel the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway on a typical day – making them among the busiest highways in the nation. Add rain, ice, snow, and, of course, accidents, to the mix, and dramatically heighten the risk for delays and driver frustration.

That’s why the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) recently made a sharp turn toward smart technologies to help manage its major toll roads. NJTA, IBM and other technology partners have developed new capabilities with the goal of improving the motoring experience and making these two highways safer. Continue Reading »

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Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

Artist’s rendering of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication System. (Source: USDOT)

By Chris Poulin

Cars are headed to the cloud. The hottest trend right now in the auto industry is the connected car. And the cloud, with its massive storage, processing, and analytical heft, will power this shift to wired cars. In fact, the auto industry is one of many industries that are working on making their business secure in the cloud.

The momentum behind the connected car is unstoppable. We’ve already seen how cars networked to auto makers’ safety and assistance services help to save lives. In addition to linking with smart devices, we are now seeing cars that can swap signals from sensors in traffic lights, buses, and signs along the road to warn of accidents and cut congestion. Continue Reading »

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Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist, IBM Research - Africa

Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist, IBM Research – Africa

By Uyi Stewart

In an interview with Wired magazine, the English musician, Brian Eno, complained that there is not enough Africa in computers.

How does one Africanize…or otherwise liberate a computer?” he wanted to know.

Maybe Brian would like to visit us at our new research laboratory in Nairobi, because this is more or less what we are doing. Although our focus is not to build computers, per se, we are building technology solutions for Africa— with uniquely African flavour. Africanized solutions, if you like.

IBM Research—Africa, officially opens its doors next week. It’s our 12th global research laboratory, and the first in Africa. It feels like a pivotal moment. It certainly is for me. Continue Reading »

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Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fello

Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow

Tony Stone, Partner, IBM GBS

Tony Stone, Partner, IBM GBS

By Jerry Cuomo and Tony Stone

Imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when your car will alert you to a dangerous condition a mile ahead so you can slow down pro-actively or take an alternative route.

Or sensors detect abnormal wear on your brakes and the car automatically arranges for an appointment at your repair shop and even checks the parts inventory at the shop to make sure there will be no delay in getting the brake job done. Continue Reading »

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Dr. David Sinclair, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, Dublin City University

Dr. David Sinclair, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, Dublin City University

By Dr. David Sinclair

What skills will tomorrow’s city leaders need?

This is a very broad question, but it has a specific set of answers. Tomorrow’s urban leaders must organize, analyze and understand the resource that is Big Data. They will need to be able to use the sea of data pouring into their systems to predict how the city will operate and then build adaptable and informed plans to deal with the inevitable disruption and change. This set of skills fall under the heading of data analytics.

It is with these skills in mind that we have designed a Data Analytics Master’s programme at Dublin City University in partnership with IBM Research Dublin. The goal of the programme is to provide future planners with a deep understanding of the issues, as well as the techniques and tools needed to explore large amounts of raw data and extract meaningful conclusions from it. With such a skill set, tomorrows’ urban leaders will be positioned to build smarter, sustainable cities. Continue Reading »

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Graham Mackintosh, Business Executive, Social Analytics, IBM Software Group

By Graham Mackintosh

 Social sentiment analysis is the new darling in the world of digital marketing and Big Data analytics.  But while making sense of opinions posted publicly on Twitter sounds easy, it’s not.  It’s a lot more complex if you’re looking at the meaning and tone of natural language conveyed by Twitter’s fire hose of 200 million active users.

Telemetry is the science of measuring data at a distance over communications networks.  When put in this context, social media can be thought of as “human telemetry” – a virtual town square where we can understand our social interactions and preferences by analyzing everything that is said and shared via blogs and tweets.

Human telemetry applies to more than trending topics on Twitter. Consider healthcare. Within an urban center, regional hospitals already exchange real-time information – such as admission rates and bed-space data — to help with ambulance routing and finding the right type of doctor. Continue Reading »

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Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma, Vice President, Smarter Cities, IBM Europe

By Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma

If you run over a pothole or perhaps a train is delayed on your morning commute, what do you do? It’s unlikely that you would pick up the phone to call the city to report it or attend a meeting on the topic being held by your local government.  The more likely scenario is that you would take to social media to mention the location of the pothole or express your frustration with the delay.

Today’s citizens can be seen as engaged but in a very different manner.  Twitter, Facebook and other social channels serve as a 24/7 town hall meeting for an increasing number of us digitally connected citizens.  Social listening and analysis can be a valuable tool for cities.

People are passionate about their commute. Love it or hate it, we have much to say  about it. The most recent IBM Social Sentiment Index looks at sentiment in traffic around several European cities in France, Netherlands, Spain and Germany. Continue Reading »

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Ed Cole, Executive Director, Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee

By Ed Cole

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article in which it called Nashville, Tennessee – the “it” city.

The coverage was an exciting and complimentary tribute to Nashville as a culturally-rich, fast growing metropolitan region. The Times highlighted the culture with music and trendy restaurants, and the economic health of the region attributing that in part to our, “mix of employers in fields like health care management, religious publishing, car manufacturing and higher education, led by Vanderbilt University.”

For all the accolades in the Times piece, there was mention of a very real problem in our “it” city – the need for better transportation. 

How are we going to get to enjoy all the city has to offer, the live music venues, the parks, the museums, or the chic social gatherings, if our roadways are choking with congestion?       Continue Reading »

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Naveen Lamba, Global Smarter Transportation leader, IBM Global Business Services

By Naveen Lamba

Circling for a parking spot, worrying about feeding the parking meters, and ultimately wondering if you should just turn around and go home. These are familiar feelings for anyone who has ever had to find a parking spot in a hurry. Not only is it frustrating, but the time spent looking for parking also contributes to traffic congestion – some research suggests 30 percent on average – and air pollution.

Parking is an area of transportation that had seen little innovation until a just a few years ago. With today’s technology – from sensors to smarter meters to advanced analytics – cities can reinvent parking to help reduce congestion and make our cities more livable. 

Enter Streetline, a Silicon Valley start-up that provides Smart Parking solutions to cities, garages, airports, universities and other private parking providers. The company is the creator of Parker™, a free smartphone app that guides drivers to available parking spaces in real time.

The company won the 2010 IBM SmartCamp, a global entrepreneurship program that identifies early stage start-ups in the Smarter Planet industries. Through this program, Streetline had access to a global network of experts and advisors. Since then, Streetline and IBM have continued working together.

(Next week IBM will host the 2013 Global SmartCamp Finals in New York City.) Continue Reading »

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