Posts Tagged ‘smarter transportation’
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.
Over the past several years, you’ve probably noticed that IBM has become much more active on the African continent.
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.
I had a friend who was recently impacted by one of those contaminated cantaloupes.
Fortunately, she only got sick and didn’t perish from listeria, but 23 others were not so fortunate, and over 100 more also became very ill.
These type of outbreaks cost $152 billion a year in the U.S. alone, with 48 million food-related illnesses and 3,000 deaths a year. Governments around the world are now proposing more stringent regulations to better protect consumers from food borne illnesses.
A breakdown at any point in the food system on the farm-to-table spectrum can cause catastrophic harm to the health of consumers and great disruption and economic loss to the food industry.
More than six billion cases of fruits and vegetables alone travel across the U.S. each year. As this food travels through various points of the supply chain there are possibilities of this food being exposed to temperatures or other factors that could lead to its contamination.
In response to this challenge, IBM today announced that Cherry Central, a leading cooperative of hundreds of growers of fruits and vegetables in the United States, is using IBM analytics technology to provide true visibility of food items as it travels from the farm to supermarket shelves or ingredient buyers locations.
Using analytics technology, the food producer and marketer has improved productivity by 50 percent.
Eat, and Track, Your Fruits And Vegetables
To ensure the safest food products reach the shelves of grocery stores and ingredient buyer locations, Cherry Central is collaborating with IBM and business partner N2N Global.
With IBM analytics technology, Cherry Central is tracking data from the time fruit is harvested, sorted or processed, sent to a distribution warehouse, and finally unloaded and placed on display counters at a grocery store or ingredient buyer location.
All of this activity data can now be collected, viewed, aggregated and analyzed in real time, all with a few clicks of a mouse.
Additionally, workers now can use mobile devices to record key information, such as date, time, location, temperature, and all aspects of quality and food safety compliance.
The information is uploaded to a centralized database, where it is stored and can be accessed and shared by their supply chain trading partners.
Each time the food moves or is handled by someone new, the data can be updated thorough mobile devices, recorded and aggregated instantaneously to provide a complete, accurate picture within its operations.
This, in turn, minimizes unnecessary administrative tasks and data entry, allowing management to focus more on business growth than data capturing.
Cherry Central can now more precisely record incoming fruit from growers, track the food items through their operations and monitor and report on all critical control points such as refrigeration and processing temperatures, thus improving the overall traceability and visibility of the products they handle. These new capabilities are helping Cherry Central track food from harvest to dinner table to avoid contamination pitfalls.
“Cherry Central and its trading partners are a microcosm of the entire food supply chain. In working IBM and N2N Global, we are taking advantage of a solution that tears down the barriers and complexity of the food supply chain,” said Steve Eiseler, vice president of operations at Cherry Central Cooperative.
“This collaboration is helping us create a well-connected and visible food supply chain to make it easier and faster to track the food items we market while also allowing us to spot trends as they’re occurring real time. This visibility is enabling is to take proactive measures to ensure food safety and ultimately protecting the consumer.”
Paper, Plastic, Or Analytics?
One of the major challenges for Cherry Central is to provide better transparency and usability of its data that is growing at the rate of 1.6 million records per month.
Many in the food industry still use paper-based solutions that produce paper checklists and questionnaires to perform audits and inspections on their fruits and vegetables and processing/packing systems .
As paper forms are returned to the office, they are “manually” entered into the computer leaving room for human error, generating mountains of paperwork and the possibility of misplacing files — making it more difficult to pinpoint the source of a possible contamination, causing costly and potentially critical delays.
Now, with analytics technology, Cherry Central is not only capturing this data, but using analytics to create real business outcomes from it. For example, processing data can be analyzed real time and decisions can be made immediately rather than waiting hours or days until the data is compiled.
In addition, all small businesses are impacted by federal regulations and government mandates. Small businesses operating in the food industry, however, have additional layers of regulations and mandates defined by federal and state agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.
The new Food Safety Modernization Act as well as industry trade association standards have added new and complex compliance demands to the landscape.
Cherry Central’s business analytics platform provides product traceability consisting of IBM DB2 Web Query running on Power System. Its quality & food safety program runs on N2N Global’s Quality & Food Safety Manager solution running on IBM System x.
If you’d like to learn more about IBM’s Smarter Food initiatives, visit here.
The IBM Commuter Study for 2011 is now available.
In last year’s results, I mentioned that I’ve been an IBM home office worker for the better part of the last eight years.
I’m not sure how much gas I’ve saved. And I’m not sure how many more hours IBM has gotten out of me, never mind the fact that I pay the utilities here at the home office.
But whatever the price, it’s saved me the hassle of getting out into the Austin traffic.
And once you hear some of the results from this year’s study, you may be wanting to climb your way out of your own commute:
Of the 8,042 commuters in 20 cities across six contintents, here’s the headlines:
- Drivers report more stress and frustration related to commuting worldwide
- Forty one percent of commuters globally said improved public transportation would help reduce stress
- Perception of traffic in emerging economies vs. more developed economies is improving
In a cross-section of some of the most economically important international cities there appears a startling dichotomy: while the commute has become a lot more bearable over the past year, drivers complaints are going through the roof.
The annual global Commuter Pain Survey revealed that in a number of cities more people are taking public transportation rather than driving, when compared with last year’s survey.
In many cities, there were big jumps in the percentage of respondents who said that roadway traffic has improved either “somewhat” or “substantially” in the past three years.
IBM Commuter Pain Index
But that’s only part of the story. In many cities, the survey recorded significant increases, when compared with last year, in the number of respondents who said that roadway traffic has increased their levels of personal stress and anger and negatively affected their performance at work or school.
“Commuting doesn’t occur in a vacuum,” said Naveen Lamba, IBM’s global intelligent transportation expert. “A person’s emotional response to the daily commute is colored by many factors pertaining both to traffic congestion as well as to other, unrelated, issues. This year’s Global Commuter Pain survey indicates that drivers in cities around the world are much more unsettled and anxious compared with 2010.”
Infrastructure Investments in Emerging Markets
The survey results suggest that aggressive infrastructure investment in some of the most rapidly growing economies seems to be paying off. Compared with other cities surveyed, more commuters in Bangalore, New Delhi, Beijing and Shenzhen reported improvement in traffic conditions over the last three years.
For example, last year Beijing was expected to invest approximately 80 billion yuan to improve its transportation infrastructure, and Mexico City is making a significant investment of $2.5 billion US over the next few years to better support the growing demands of its transportation network in one of the most populated urban areas in the world.
With more than one billion cars on the road worldwide, cities are continuing to address traffic congestion and looking for new ways to handle the growing demand.
Even though commuters in many emerging market cities report that traffic is down, there is much room for improvement. The respondents in many of these same cities also report, with a greater frequency than the global average, that traffic negatively impacts their stress levels, physical health and productivity.
For example, 86 percent of the respondents in Beijing, 87 percent in Shenzhen, 70 percent in New Delhi and 61 percent in Nairobi report traffic as a key inhibitor to work or school performance. Sixty seven percent of drivers in Mexico City, 63 percent in Shenzhen and New Delhi and 61 percent in Beijing said they had decided not to make a driving trip in the last month due to anticipated traffic — the most of all cities surveyed.
Commuting pain is also reflected globally as 69 percent of those surveyed indicated that traffic has negatively affected their health in some way. Some 42 percent of respondents globally reported increased stress and 35 percent reported increased anger. Respiratory problems due to traffic congestion were most prevalent in China and India.
A Move To Public Transportation
The survey results reflect an increased willingness to use public transportation and technology to improve the commute. Overall, 41 percent believe improved public transit would help reduce traffic congestion. Consider that even though globally only 35 percent of people changed the way that they get to work or school in the last year, 45 percent of those who have are opting for public transit.
An astonishing 70 percent of Nairobi residents report taking public transit more often in the last year on their daily commute. The biggest movement to public transit is in emerging cities including Nairobi, Mexico City, Shenzhen, Buenos Aires and Beijing. If this continues, it could help mitigate increasing traffic due to population growth and urbanization. Interestingly, the desire for more accurate and timely information about road conditions as a way to reduce stress was shared across a number of cities from Los Angeles and Chicago to Moscow and Bangalore.
IBM Commuter Pain Survey
IBM compiled the results of the survey into its Commuter Pain Index that ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city, with the highest number being the most onerous. The Index reveals a tremendous disparity in the pain of the daily commute from city to city. Montreal had the least painful commute of the cities studied, followed by London and Chicago. Here’s how the cities stack up:
The index is comprised of 10 issues:
- commuting time
- time stuck in traffic, agreement that:
- price of gas is already too high
- traffic has gotten worse
- start-stop traffic is a problem
- driving causes stress
- driving causes anger
- traffic affects work
- traffic so bad driving stopped
- decided not to make trip due to traffic.
The cities scored as follows: Mexico City: 108; Shenzhen 95; Beijing 95; Nairobi 88; Johannesburg 83; Bangalore 75; New Delhi 72; Moscow 65; Milan 53; Singapore 44; Buenos Aires 42; Los Angeles 34; Paris 31; Madrid 28; New York City 28; Toronto 27; Stockholm 26; Chicago 25; London 23; and Montreal 21.
“We can’t simply build our way out of congestion no matter which city,” said Vinodh Swaminathan, director of intelligent transportation systems, IBM. In order to improve traffic flow and congestion, cities need to move beyond knowing and reacting; they have to find ways to anticipate and avoid situations that cause congestion that could turn the world into one giant parking lot.”
Survey Snapshot: Notable Movers & Interesting Trends
- Fourteen of the 15 cities surveyed in both 2010 and 2011 reported year-over-year increases in respondents who said that traffic had improved either “somewhat” or “substantially” over the past three years, with many of the cities posting substantial increases. For example, New York (24% in 2011 vs. 12% in 2010), Toronto (23% in 2011 vs. 8% in 2010), Milan (27% in 2011 vs. 7% in 2010), Stockholm (42% in 2011 vs. 18% in 2010), Moscow (31% in 2011 vs. 16%), and Johannesburg (29% in 2011 vs. 13% in 2010).
- Despite improving traffic conditions, 12 of the 15 cities surveyed in both 2010 and 2011 reported year-over-year increases in respondents who said that roadway traffic has increased their stress levels, with sveral cities posting substantial increases. For example, New York (45% in 2011 vs. 13% in 2010), Los Angeles (44% in 2011 vs. 21% in 2010), Toronto (40% in 2011 vs. 14% in 2010), London (33% in 2011 vs. 19% in 2010), Milan (61% in 2011 vs. 38% in 2010), and Johannesburg (52% in 2011 vs. 30% in 2010).
- Eleven of the 15 cities surveyed in both 2010 and 2011 reporter year-over-year increases in respondents who said that roadway traffic has made them angry, with several cities posting substantial increases. For example, New York (35% in 2011 vs. 14% in 2010), Los Angeles, (29% in 2011 vs. 14% in 2010), and Toronto (29% in 2011 vs. 14% in 2010).
- Eleven of the 15 cities surveyed in both 2010 and 2011 reported year-over-year increases in respondents who said that traffic has negatively affected their performance at work or school, with several cities posting substantial increases. For example, New York (28% in 2011 vs. 8% in 2010), Toronto (29% in 2011 vs. 17% in 2010), Madrid (30% in 2011 vs. 21% in 2010), Paris (35% in 2011 vs. 26% in 2010), Milan (40% in 2011 vs. 21% in 2010), Stockholm (25% in 2011 vs. 14% in 2010), and Moscow (34% in 2011 vs. 25% in 2010).
- When asked about the longest amount of time they have been stuck in traffic over the past three years, the mean time reported by drivers in Mexico City, Moscow, Beijing, Shenzhen and Nairobi were notable, with delays of about two hours. In Moscow, approximately three in ten drivers (29 percent) say they been stuck for over three hours. By comparison, about half of the drivers surveyed in Stockholm, Singapore, Madrid and Buenos Aires reported spending less than 30 minutes or literally no time stuck in traffic.
- The percentage of New York metro area drivers who are driving to work or school alone decreased to 59 percent in 2011 vs. 90 percent last year.
- If traffic didn’t take up so much time, commuters would rather devote it to personal relationships and improving their physical health. More than half of respondents (56 percent) would spend time won back with family/friends; while nearly half (48 percent) would exercise and 40 percent would spend more time on recreation. Nearly three in ten drivers (29 percent) would sleep more.
- Commuters in Nairobi seem to take traffic in stride despite the fact that they average among the longest commutes. Nearly half (48 percent) report that roadway traffic has not impacted their health.
- On average, drivers in Nairobi, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Beijing, Bangalore, and Moscow spend the longest amount of time (36 minutes or more) on the road to get to their workplace or school.
About the IBM Commuter Pain Survey
The Commuter Pain Survey is conducted by IBM to better understand consumer attitudes around traffic congestion as the issue reaches crisis proportions around the world and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns. These events are impacting communities around the world, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.
This is IBM’s fourth annual Commuter Pain survey. IBM began conducting the survey in the United States in 2008 and expanded it to 20 global cities in 2010. Findings from the Commuter Pain survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; enhance smarter transportation solutions such as traffic prediction intelligent tolling systems, road user charging, advanced traffic management and integrated fare management and serve as a basis for pioneering new approaches to improving transportation.
IBM is working with cities, governments and others around the world to make their transportation systems smarter. Smarter transportation systems can help traffic and public transit systems flow more smoothly, anticipate and improve congestion in advance, reduce emissions and increase the capacity of infrastructure.
Read the IBM report on the 2011 Commuter Pain Survey here.
Join us for a Twitter chat #2011CommuterPain with @kalgyimesi, automotive leader for IBM Institute for Business Value and one of the study authors, on September 12 at 12 PM ET.
To join in the conversation on Smarter Transportation, join us on LinkedIn and Twitter and follow #2011CommuterPain.
Visit here for more on IBM and Smarter Traffic.
You really can’t make this stuff up.
Here I am, the next to my last day in Bangalore, which has some of the worst traffic in the world (at least, in terms of what *I* have seen…a guy from Oracle here assured me it was much worse in Bangkok and Sri Lanka), and suddenly the IBM Commuter Pain Study results get released.
The headline: The daily commute in some of the world’s most economically important international cities is longer and more grueling than before imagined, reflecting the failure of transportation infrastructure to keep pace with economic activity.
This is the first time we’ve done such a study on a global basis (earlier versions looked only at U.S. traffic).
IBM surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities on six continents, the majority of whom say that traffic has gotten worse in the past three years.
The congestion in many of today’s developing cities is a relatively recent phenomenon, having paralleled the rapid economic growth of those cities during the past decade or two.
By contrast, the traffic in places like New York, Los Angeles or London developed gradually over many decades, giving officials more time and resources to address the problem.
For example, the middle class in China is growing rapidly, with the number of new cars registered in Beijing in the first four months of 2010 rising 23.8% to 248,000, according to the Beijing municipal taxation office.
Beijing’s total investments in its subway system are projected to be more than 331.2 billion yuan by 2015 as the city expands the system to more than double its current size, according to Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., Ltd.
The city plans to invest 80 billion yuan in 2010 in building its transportation infrastructure.
The study did offer a number of bright spots.
Forty-eight percent of drivers surveyed in Beijing reported that traffic has improved in the past three years – the high for the survey – reflecting substantial initiatives to improve the transportation network in that city.
In addition, the commute for drivers in Stockholm, Sweden seems to be, if not pleasant, then largely pain-free. Only 14% of Stockholm drivers surveyed said that roadway traffic negatively affected work or school performance.
Overall, though, the study paints a picture of metropolitan-area commuters in many cities struggling to get to and from work each day.
For example, 57% of all respondents say that roadway traffic has negatively affected their health, but that percentage is 96% in New Delhi and 95% in Beijing.
29% overall say that roadway traffic has negatively affected work or school performance, but that percentage rises to 84% in Beijing, 62% in New Delhi, and 56% in Mexico City.
Moscow was notable for the duration of its traffic jams. Drivers there reported an average delay of two-and-a-half hours when asked to report the length of the worst traffic jam they experienced in the past three years.
A Top 10 List You DON’T Want To Be On
IBM compiled the results of the survey into an Index that ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most onerous.
The Index reveals a tremendous disparity in the pain of the daily commute from city to city. Stockholm had the least painful commute of the cities studied, followed by Melbourne and Houston (which tied) and New York City. Here’s how the cities stack up:
The index is comprised of 10 issues:
- Commuting time
- Time stuck in traffic, agreement that:
- Price of gas is already too high
- Traffic has gotten worse
- Start-stop time is a problem
- Driving causes stress
- Driving causes anger
- Traffic affects work
- Traffic so bad driving stopped
- Decided not to make trip due to traffic.
Drum roll, please (or, with due deference to Bangalorians, a nice long honk of the horn), here are the Top 20 winners (err, losers):
Calgon, Take Me Away: The IBM Commuter Pain Index lists the world’s most onerous cities for traffic.
- Beijing: 99
- Mexico City: 99
- Johannesburg: 97
- Moscow: 84
- New Delhi: 81
- Sao Palo: 75
- Milan: 52
- Buenos Aires: 50
- Madrid: 48
- London: 36
- Paris: 36
- Toronto: 32
- Amsterdam: 25
- Los Angeles: 25
- Berlin: 24
- Montreal: 23
- New York: 19
- Houston: 17
- Melbourne: 17
- Stockholm: 15
"Traditional solutions — building more roads — will not be enough to overcome the growth of traffic in these rapidly developing cities, so multiple solutions need to be deployed simultaneously to avoid a failure of the transportation networks," said Naveen Lamba, IBM’s global industry lead for intelligent transportation.
"New techniques are required that empower transportation officials to better understand and proactively manage the flow of traffic."
IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey: Major Findings
Analysis of the survey results indicated a number of key findings related to how traffic impacts commuters:
- 49% of drivers in the 20 cities think that roadway traffic has gotten worse in the last three years, and 18% think it has gotten a lot worse. Five percent say traffic has improved substantially, with only Beijing (16%) and New Delhi (17%) reaching double digit scores. There are seven trouble spots based on the bottom two box scores (ranking traffic as "somewhat" or "a lot worse"): Johannesburg (80%), Moscow (64%), Toronto (64%), Mexico City (62%), Sao Paulo (61%), Milan (59%) and Buenos Aires (57%).
- 87% of the respondents have been stuck in roadway traffic in the last three years. The average delay is one hour. The "best" cities are Melbourne, Stockholm and Buenos Aires, where 25% or more say they have never been stuck in traffic. On the other end of the spectrum, the average reported delay in Moscow is 2.5 hours, where more than 40% say they have been stuck in traffic for more than three hours.
- 31% of respondents said that during the past three years traffic has been so bad that they turned around and went home. The percentage in Beijing, however, is 69%, the high for the survey; and only 15% in Berlin, representing the low.
- If commuting time could be reduced, 16% of respondents worldwide would choose to work more. In New Delhi, 40% said they would work more, the high for the survey; while 5% in Madrid would work more, representing the low.
The Commuter Pain Survey was conducted by IBM to better understand consumer thinking toward traffic congestion as the issue reaches crisis proportions nationwide and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns.
These events are impacting communities around the world, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.
IBM is actively working in the area of Smarter Transportation using a worldwide team of scientists, industry experts and IT services professionals to research, test and deploy new traffic information management capabilities in cities around the world.
Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.
As for me, I’m about to head back into the Bangalore traffic fray once more, but this time with some comfort that traffic is a LOT worse in other parts of India and the rest of the world, and with some hope that IBM smarter transportation folks are going to be working on this horrible plight.
That Huge IT Spend Sucking Sound
Okay, we’ve got some good news, and we’ve got some bad news.
Which do you want first?
Okay, I’ll start with the bad news and get that outta the way.
In its recent “U.S. and Global IT Market Outlook: Q2 2009,” Forrester Research has forecasted that global IT spending will decline by nearly 11% in 2009.
According to coverage in NetworkWorld, the U.S. drop will be down 5.1% (two percentage points more than previously forecast).
The reason? A “ghastly” first quarter (I thought it was relatively ghastly myself), and “likely similarly poor results in Q2″ (Doh!…Can’t comment on those Q2 numbers just yet.).
Now for the good news.
Vendors and end-user organizations apparently believe we’ll start to see some signs of recovery later this year and early next.
The Forrester report also suggests that the pullback is reducing spend across all categories of IT: Software, hardware, telco equipment.
It’s an equal opportunity IT spending pullback.
Can you hear the giant sucking sound?
Shhh, just listen….There it is, can you hear it? It’s slowing down, bit by bit.
According to Forrester, the even better news is that the bad news could have been so much worse.
It’s no small privilege for me to help deliver such bad tidings when it could have been sooooo much worse.
Further, nominal GDP growth helped prevent a further decline, but the credit crunch “caused IT capital purchases to drop like a stone,” with “companies large and small” being shut out of credit markets.
So what’s a poor hungry tech vendor to do?
In 2H09, it’s time to restart those IT marketing engines.
However, focus not only on the efficiency story (always great in a slowdown), but also highlight the opportunity your products and solutions can provide to drive growth.
Coming out of a downturn, it’s always all about revving up growth.
This also presents an opportunity to highlight reference clients (including word-of-mouth via the social media!) which are leveraging IT for real and distinct competitive advantage.
Okay, we’ll bite.
Here’s one from the European Horticultural industry, Danish company Container Centralen.
Europe’s largest provider of re-usable transport equipment and services, Container Centralen is now using IBM sensor technology (including RFID tags) to allow its horticultural supply chain participants to track the progress of shipments of flowers and plants from wholesalers to retailers across 40 countries in Europe.
As former U.S. First Lady and fellow Texan Lady Bird Johnson once said, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
Kudos to Container Centralen for their very smart transportation solution.
And here’s hoping a few million new IT projects bloom across the globe very soon!