Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘smarter transportation’ Category

IBM Global SmartCamp Finals: Next Week In NYC

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IBM’s SmartCamp Global Finals are slated to be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on February 7th.

The SmartCamp initiative was launched in 2010 with the goal of identifying early-stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that would align with the IBM Smarter Planet vision, and give them the visibility, mentoring, and resources that only a large company like IBM can provide.

On the 7th, eight startups from around the world will compete in New York City for the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

The IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will bring together leading venture capitalists, industry experts, press, analysts, entrepreneurial organizations and academics to network and celebrate entrepreneurship.

The Global Finals will feature eight startup finalists from around the world, from Kenya to France to Singapore. The eight finalists not only come from all walks of life, but they offer a broad range of innovative solutions that all have the potential to make the planet a whole lot smarter.

Finalist HistoIndex, a startup from Singapore, has an imaging solution which will allow for earlier detection and better treatment of fibrosis.

GetWay, a big data startup from Brazil, enables any industry to precisely monitor real-time sales data in retailers spread all over a territory.

And QuintessenceLabs, from Australia, has harnessed the properties of nature as described by quantum science to fortify the protection of data in-transit, at-rest and in-use.

You can be a part of the excitement on February 7th at the SmartCamp Global Finals, where you’ll have the opportunity to network with innovators, business leaders, and experts from around the world, hear the startup finalists’ presentations, and witness the naming of a new IBM Entrepreneur of the Year.

Go here to learn more and to register to attend the event. As an FYI, I had the great privilege of helping cover the event last year in San Francisco, and recorded a video with Scott Laningham (embedded in this blog post) where I summarized what I learned.

Austin’s F1 Debut Gets A Checkered Flag

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Britain’s Lewis Hamilton celebrates his Formula 1 victory in Austin yesterday Texas style, after overcoming two-time world champion Sebastian Vittel in a sneaky pass that Vittel never could recover from. Austin’s F1 race was the first held in the United States since 2007, and the first at Austin’s new “Circuit of the Americas” track. Over 200,000 fans from around the globe attended this first-of-its-kind event in Austin, many of them giving our fair city glowing reviews. To which I say, this was only our first, and it will only get better from here. (Photo: Getty Images)

Myself, along with a lot of other Austinites, learned quite a bit about Formula 1 racing over the weekend.

Though I didn’t get out to the track myself, I watched the entire race on TV.

Of course, I also did a bit of research leading into the race, and also interacted with some experts via social media during the race, which made the experience all the more helpful.

My general impressions are wow, those are some bad *** cars! What really struck me about F1 was the “Formula,” where the tinkering with the cars is limited mainly to that, so the focus is instead on strategy and tactics by the “constructor” crews and the drivers themselves.

One tank of gas, two sets of tires, the track (in this case, the “Circuit of the Americas”), and your pit strategy.

That seems to me to equalize the competition in a way you don’t see in every sport, making the viewing experience that much more compelling.

Lewis Hamilton from the U.K. took the top of the podium, forcing Sebastian Vettel to wait until the 20th and final race of the season to determine whether or not he’ll go “back to back to back” and win three straight F1 championships.

As for Austin’s ability to host an event of this size, so far, the reviews are pretty flattering. We were expecting over 200,000 people over the long weekend, and despite the expected traffic challenges, the event went off quite smoothly.

The virgin track certainly had some gripping challenges, but that actually made for a more scintillating race, and certainly didn’t keep the drivers from doing some aggressive passing. And the weather was simply perfect.

To my mind, it really starts to cement Austin’s reputation as an “international” city, and I’m looking forward to our hosting future races.

As for me personally, it’s official: I’m a converted F1 fan, and will be making it even more official by adding a new section to MyESPN home page!

Written by turbotodd

November 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

The Electric Filling Station

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Click to enlarge. With IBM’s Intelligent Electric Vehicle Enablement Platform, drivers across Ireland will be able to use their mobile devices to locate their nearest electric “filling station” and even make a reservation to stop and charge their car.

Happy Monday.

A friend of mine from overseas sent me an article over the weekend featuring traffic horror stories around the globe.

Most of the stories were about emerging third world cities grappling with rapid growth, but one of them included a story about right here in Austin, Texas.  The gist of the story about Austin was this: The individual in Austin traffic noted they were sitting in a car by themselves in a long line of traffic, watching as empty buses and trams whistled by.

I won’t get started on trying to change the longstanding behaviors of Texas commuters, but I WILL highlight a new project IBM is providing some assistance for in Europe that has huge potential for, if not streamlining traffic, then at least helping bridge the gap to a more electric-oriented energy and transportation future.

The Public Charge

IBM today announced that it has teamed with ESB ecars to implement a fully integrated smarter charging IT system that will help manage electric vehicle public charge points, which are being rolled out across Ireland by ESB ecars.

With approximately 1,000 public charging-points currently available, ESB Networks is on track to deliver one of the largest integrated and operational electric vehicle infrastructures in Europe.

ESB Networks will use IBM’s Intelligent Electric Vehicle Enablement Platform to provide the services needed to operate and manage the charge-points installed throughout Ireland.

Together the companies will add a layer of intelligence and convenience to the charging process, allowing EV drivers to access, charge and pay, using an identification card.

Additionally, this project will provide utilities with access to energy usage data that can help improve smart grid operations, reduce power strain during peak charging times, and ensure reliable energy distribution to customers.

This project is bolstered by Ireland’s energy policy to increase sustainable energy use in the transportation sector by 2020. Today, the goal is to produce 40 percent of the country’s current electricity consumption from renewable energy and have electric vehicles represent every tenth car on Irish roads.

Charging Cars, Reducing Greenhouse Gases

Already on the renewable fast track, this integrated EV charging network will allow Ireland to also contribute to the European Union legislation to reduce greenhouse gas pollution levels by approximately nine million tones before 2020.

The new system accommodates the needs of all EV owners. The IBM EV platform will enable EV drivers to select convenient payment options and access all charge-points using one ID card — a process that will aggregate usage costs and simplify billing.

This smart charging capability allows consumers to charge anywhere at anytime, regardless of their electricity provider and without the need to carry multiple access cards. Additionally, drivers will also have the option to use a mobile device or browser to locate the nearest charge post, check its availability, and make a reservation if the post is available.

This initiative along with the recently announced Smarter Charging demonstration with American Honda Motor Co,. Inc. and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), as well as the EKZ Smartphone Application pilot, demonstrates IBM’s ongoing focus to improve driver services, increase renewable generation, and intelligently manage electric vehicles.

IBM is involved in more than 150 smart grid engagements around the world, in both mature and emerging markets. You can learn more about IBM’s vision to bring a new level of intelligence to how the world works—how every person, business, organization, government, natural system, and man-made system interacts, here, and you can learn more about electronic vehicle infrastructures here.

Written by turbotodd

October 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Boxed In In Bangalore: Analyzing Sentiment On Indian Traffic Congestion

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Click to enlarge. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is projected to be the world’s most populous country by 2025. By 2050, it is estimated that India’s urban population will constitute nearly half of that country’s total population, straining an already stressed infrastructure. The good news: Urbanization is an indicator of positive economic development. With improved urban planning, India can tackle urbanization challenges and increasing population to create a country that is poised for sustainable growth.

We heard a number of discussions about the potential for social listening intelligence last week at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando.

This is an area I’ve been involved in within the IBM team for several years now, starting with some early explorations for how social data could be informative for our marketing efforts stretching all the way back to 2008.

It’s been exciting to watch this space evolve and mature, and with the advent of the IBM Social Sentiment index, we’re starting to see very practical uses of social data for better understanding if not the wisdom, then certainly the perspectives, of the crowd.

Yesterday, IBM held a Smarter Cities Forum in New Delhi, India, where we unveiled a new social sentiment capability to assist our customers in their Smarter Cities engagements.

We also unveiled findings from the latest IBM Social Sentiment Index on traffic, which looked at public sentiment across India’s largest cities — Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Boxed In In Bangalore

If you’ve never experienced traffic in India, you can get a taste of the Sunday traffic in this video I shot during my first visit in June 2010.

But the recent analysis of publically available social media showed that the worst congestion in India is primarily caused by accidents and bad weather (three out of four times) when looking at the three cities together.

It also indicated some interesting variations between the three. For example, social conversation in Mumbai about stress around traffic is about half as high as Bangalore and New Delhi; references to the impact of rush hour on congestion in New Delhi are between five and seven times more negative than in Bangalore and Mumbai.

With a wealth of online content and public commentary on social channels such as Twitter and Facebook, city officials need new ways to measure positive, neutral and negative opinions shared by citizens regarding important city issues.

IBM’s advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies used to analyze large volumes of public social media data in order to assess and understand citizen opinions are now available to city governments around the world via new capabilities delivered with the IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities.

Making Cities Smarter: The IBM Intelligent Operations Center

The IOC — which combines IBM software and services to integrate city operations through a single dashboard view to help cities improve efficiency — is now augmented with social media analytics capabilities that will help city officials make more informed decisions by looking at unfiltered citizen attitudes and actions, distinguishing between sincerity and sarcasm and even predicting trends as they surface online.

Combining the knowledge that population will rapidly increase in Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai in the coming years, with sentiment on commuters’ preferred mode of transportation, could help these cities more accurately plan for needed investments in transportation infrastructure and its potential impact.

City officials could also gauge where public awareness campaigns need to be administered to shift commuters to different modes of transport in order to alleviate growing traffic congestion.

The IBM Social Sentiment Index on transportation in India’s three largest cities surfaced several insights including:

  • The top three factors impacting traffic congestion that citizens in each city talked about most online were diverse. Delhites chattered about public transportation, weather and the stress of commuting, while Bangaloreans show more concern for their overall driving experience, construction and parking issues, and Mumbaikars are talking about private transportation, accidents and pollution more often.
  • Conversation in Bangalore around parking is viewed three times more negatively than in the other cities. Despite recent infrastructure improvements, less pollution and a solid public transit system, Delhites are experiencing a far higher amount of stress (50 percent) than those in Mumbai (29 percent) or Bangalore (34 percent). Most likely, this can be explained by an uptick in rallies and weather events this year, as well as the recent power outage.
  • Surprisingly, sentiment on the topic of construction was relatively positive in Bangalore and New Delhi, and positive and negative sentiment on infrastructure in each was relatively even. Together, these may suggest that the transportation infrastructure improvements being made over the last two years in each city are beginning to positively impact citizens.
  • Analysis shows that the relative negative sentiment for rush hour (35 percent) is one of the key drivers impacting traffic in New Delhi, which may explain why citizens talk about stress significantly more than commuters in Mumbai or Bangalore.

By applying analytics capabilities to the area of social media sentiment, organizations are able to better understand public opinions, and city officials can gain additional insights in order to draw logical conclusions about where they should focus their attentions and resources.

For example:

  • Take Bangalore, the technology hub of India. Understanding that most commuters prefer private transportation despite negative sentiment around parking and construction may indicate that city officials should consider if it makes sense to advocate for more commuters to use mass transit and invest in infrastructure that will keep up with demand as more companies locate there.
  • Since Dehlite’s indicate that public transportation is the preferred mode of transportation, city officials could use this insight to study which areas have high ridership and less road traffic and then implement similar actions in highly congested areas.
  • In Mumbai, negative sentiment around traffic and weather at the peak of monsoon season (August) generated 5.5 times more chatter than in November. If the city could measure the fluctuation of public sentiment on these potential causes over time combined with specific weather data like rainfall or temperature, it might be able to better prepare to divert traffic during monsoon season or determine areas where a public safety campaign is needed.

“Like all rapidly growing cities across the world, there are infrastructure growing pains in many Indian cities,” said Guru Banavar, vice president and chief technology officer, Smarter Cities, IBM. “However, when city officials can factor public sentiment — positive, negative or otherwise — around city services like transportation, they can more quickly pinpoint and prioritize areas that are top of mind for their citizens. This could mean more targeted investment, improving a particular city service, more effective communication about a service that is offered, and even surfacing best practices and successful efforts that could be applied to other zones of a city.”

Methodology: IBM Cognos Consumer Insights And 168,000+ Discussions

Public social media content was analyzed by IBM Cognos Consumer Insight, which assessed 168,330 online discussions from September 2011 to September 2012 across social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Forums and News Sources and derived 54,234 High Value Snippets through a series of advanced filtration techniques for insight analysis.

The IBM Social Sentiment Index helps companies tap into consumer desires and make more informed decisions by looking at unfiltered consumer attitudes and actions, distinguishing between sincerity and sarcasm, and even predicting trends.

About the IBM Social Sentiment Index

The IBM Social Sentiment Index uses advanced analytics and natural language processing technologies to analyze large volumes of social media data in order to assess public opinions. The Index can identify and measure positive, negative and neutral sentiments shared in public forums such as Twitter, blogs, message boards and other social media, and provide quick insights into consumer conversations about issues, products and services.

Representing a new form of market research, social sentiment analyses offer organizations new insights that can help them better understand and respond to consumer trends. For more information about IBM Business Analytics go here.

You can also follow the conversation at #IBMIndex on Twitter.

For more information about IBM Smarter Cities go here, and follow the conversation at #smartercities on Twitter.

Research In Nairobi

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Over the past several years, you’ve probably noticed that IBM has become much more active on the African continent.

IBM’s newest research lab will be the first on the African continent, in Nairobi, where scientists will conduct basic and applied research to tackle some of East Africa’s toughest challenges, including smarter water systems and transportation congestion.

IBM’s continued investment in this emerging and important continent were expanded upon yesterday when IBM announced that Africa would be the next frontier for innovation in IBM Research.

IBM Research – Africa will have its first location, in Nairobi, Kenya, in collaboration between the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) through the Kenya ICT board.

This new venture will conduct basic and applied research focused on solving problems relevant to African and contribute to the building of a science and technology base for the continent.

Key areas of research will include the following:

  • Next Generation Public Sector: Governments have a mission critical role to play in the growth and sustainable developments in Africa. With the right kind of ICT, including big data solutions, advanced analytics, and cloud technologies, government organizations can draw insights and benefit from the vast amounts of data held by any number of government agencies. This can help advance e-government capabilities such as helping to reduce the cost of social services, improving efficiency and productivity, deterring fraud and abuse, improving citizen access to services, and enabling digital interaction between citizens and the public sector.
  • Smarter Cities – with initial focus on water and transportation: Rates of urbanization in Africa are the highest in the world. The single biggest challenge facing African cities is improving access to and quality of city services such as water and transportation. IBM, in collaboration with government, industry and academia, plans to develop Intelligent Operation Centers for African cities – integrated command centers – that can encompass social and mobile computing, geo-spatial and visual analytics, and information models to enable smarter ways of managing city services. The initial focus will be on smarter water systems and traffic management solutions for the region.
  • Human Capacity Development: A skills shortage is hindering the leadership and innovation of new industry in Africa. The IBM Research – Africa lab, while carrying out research, will help to elevate the level of ICT and related scientific skills in Kenya by working in collaboration with select universities, government agencies and companies. Boosting the innovation culture in Kenya and engaging local entrepreneurs and innovators in developing solutions that matter to the people of Kenya and the region may also assist in accelerating economic development.

“In today’s world, innovation is the main lever for a competitive national economy, is a source of employment, and has the potential to improve lives,” said Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. “The IBM research lab, will not only rubber stamp Kenya as Africa’s leader in ICT, but will help the country to transform into a knowledge based economy.”

Operations at IBM Research – Africa will commence immediately. Expansion into other parts of Africa may be considered in a second phase.

IBM Investment in Africa 

IBM is making a significant investment in Africa, ramping up its profile on the continent as part of its focus on emerging markets. The expansion program is part of a major business plan to increase IBM’s presence in growth markets and support global strategy. The company is present in more than 20 African countries and recognizes the huge potential of research and smarter systems in transforming business, government and society across the continent.

Alongside its day-to-day business of providing advanced technologies and services to clients in Africa, IBM has deployed an array of programs aimed at building economic capacity such as IBM’s employee volunteer program, Corporate Service Corps, which is modelled on the U.S. Peace Corps. For example, IBM is working with the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) to review the country’s changing economic landscape and develop a plan to deliver financial services to rural areas.

IBM Research – Africa will join existing labs in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

IBM Research laboratories are credited with the creation of many of the foundations of information technology, including the invention of the relational database, disk storage, DRAM memory and much more. IBM Research has been recognized with five Nobel Prize Laureates, and many leading scientific and technical medals and awards.

Recently IBM Research created a question-answering supercomputing system called Watson that defeated the champions of a major televised quiz show, showing its ability to match humans in answering a wide range of free text questions.

Smarter City Solutions For A Small Planet

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Improving Water Management In South Bend, Indiana

Yesterday, IBM made several announcements in the “smarter cities” arena that I wanted to lend some pixels to, as it’s IBM’s partnerships in such initiatives that bring the Smarter Planet story to life.  In other words, the proof is in the pudding.

In South Bend, Indiana, IBM partnered with the city government there to dramatically overhaul South Bend’s water management system. Like many municipalities, South Bend has an aging sewer infrastructure, and yet sixty percent of water allocated for domestic human use goes to urban cities.

The new IBM IOC for Smarter Cities service, which was developed with local business partner Emnet, has now improved South Bend’s ability to predict the potential overflow of hazardous wastewater. The system also has allowed South Bend to improve storage and water conveyance performance while avoiding $120 million in infrastructure investments.

IBM is delivering IOC as a service on the SmartCloud, removing the up-front cost and complexity for South Bend which saves on IT infrastructure costs.  This model allows cities such as South Bend to pay for software-as-a-service out of their operational budgets, enabling easier, faster procurement than if they were required to fund new IT infrastructure from their capital budgets.

You can learn more from the press release here and via the video below.

“Anticipating and preventing incidents before they happen is key. Viewing all our aggregated data in real-time via the IBM SmartCloud will help us predict where incidents can occur and safeguard our citizens.  Through creative collaboration and IBM’s powerful smarter city solution, we can create a smarter city and solve problems that, until now, seemed insurmountable,” said Gary Gilot, Member, Board of Public Works, City of South Bend, of their IBM smarter city solution. “We have had huge measurable benefits and with IBM’s continuing partnership with the city, Notre Dame and local entrepreneurs like Emnet, we will produce more.”

Improving Public Safety in Davao City, Philippines

Across the Pacific in the Phillipines, IBM and the Davao City Government announced an agreement to help the city scale-up its existing Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) by integrating city operations into a single system, infused with advanced technologies, to further enhance public safety operations in the city.

Using IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC), the PSSCC will have a centralized dashboard view that will allow the city to monitor events and operations in real time. This comprehensive view will enable officials to better predict and plan for potential issues.

To enable Davao’s smarter city transformation, the IOC will integrate multiple city agencies in the PSSCC to improve interdepartmental collaboration and enhance the management of Davao’s four pillars of public safety: crime prevention and suppression; emergency response; threat prevention and response; and traffic management.

Davao City, considered the nerve center of the Southern Philippines in the Mindanao region, has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last decade. The collaboration with IBM will contribute to the City’s vision to emerge as the premier socio-economic and tourism center in Mindanao and across East ASEAN as well as the Asia-Pacific region.

You can learn more about the Davao City smarter city solution here.

Rationalisation de la Trafic en France!

Not to be outdone, the City of Lyon, France (the second largest metropolitan area in France outside of Paris) announced that, in partnership with Veolia Transdev and IBM, that they are developing a smarter mobility solution designed to help cities alleviate road congestion, optimize transportation infrastructures and improve the urban traveler experience.

As part of the Lyon’s Optimod project, Optimod’Lyon will test and validate new services to improve the mobility of people, passengers in the urban environment, optimizing and combining the use of transport infrastructure.

The smarter mobility solution brings together Veolia Transdev’s expertise in the public transit industry and IBM’s expertise in managing big data and advanced analytics. Cities will now have the ability to coordinate and connect services across all of its transportation networks, including subways, trams, buses, vehicular and bicycle traffic, and more.

The solution also leverages IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) designed to give cities a holistic view of city operations – such as water, transportation and public safety – through one central point of command, facilitating faster and more efficient decision-making.

Combined with Veolia Transdev’s technology dedicated to urban mobility, the new solution helps a city predict traffic road speed and arrival times and coordinate city responses across the transportation network across multiples modes of transportation within a city, such as buses and trams.

These advanced solutions also take into account unplanned events, such as rain storms or traffic accidents, which may cause delays or disruption in service.

Travelers will have access to real-time information on traffic for a more seamless, multi-modal transportation experience – such as combining bicycle, vehicle and public transit. The service uses predictive analytics, which can help a traveler easily bypass a traffic jam, and provide details about the location and interconnections of the transportation options.

Integrated transit information, such as the ability to scan ticket barcode for your journey like with air travel and the ability to simply plan and travel across different public and private transport networks, will be provided through an app for smartphones and tablets. This will help travelers save time and money and enhances the overall traveler experience.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m ready for a fully-travel-optimized summer vacation to Lyon!

You can learn more about the City of Lyon smarter city solution here.

(Almost) Live From IBM Pulse 2012: Todd and Scott’s Livestream Kickoff

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Greetings from the social media room on the solutions expo floor of IBM Pulse 2012.

It’s been a wild and crazy day, which you know already if you follow my blog.

We’ve already witnessed several keynote sessions, and Scott and I have been busy interviewing some of our key execs and thought leaders from IBM Software.

Those would include IBM Mobile guru Bob Sutor, who explained he’s historically been more iOS than Android (but he’s leaving the mobile OS door wide open) and who walked us through the “mobile lifecycle,” and IBM Developer Relations VP Mike Riegel, who regaled us with his insights into the IBM SmartCamp and Global Entrepreneur initiatives.

Keep an eye out on the Livestream for those interviews as they make their way into the Pulse 2012 video rotation.

Meanwhile, I wanted to include a link to the video Scott and I did for our kickoff last evening here on the Pulse 2012 Solutions Expo floor, where we set up the big picture for the week’s tidings — and even had some fun doing so.

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