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Smarter Traffic

How we get from point A today to point B tomorrow!

Traffic systems are part of a larger system

Today there are more than one billion cars on the road. That number will double by 2020.

Rethinking how we get from point A to point B means applying new technology and new policies to old assumptions and habits. It means improving the drivers' experience, not just where and when they drive. And it could lead to advances in the cars we drive, the roads we drive them on, and the public transit we might take instead.

For example, seeing a city's traffic in a consolidated, real-time view can help anticipate problems, alleviate congestion and decrease emergency-response times. IBM Intelligent Transportation (US), a compliment to the Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, enables advanced analysis of the many factors that make up traffic flow, and gives planners and responders a comprehensive look at the state of their city's roadways on ground level.

Traffic jumped 236% as population grew nearly 20% between 1982 and 2001 in the U.S.


IBM 2011 Commuter Pain Index

For the fourth year in a row, IBM has performed a comprehensive survey of 8,042 drivers in 20 cities. Drivers were asked a total of 27 questions, such as the duration of their longest commute, their best and worst roadways and how gas prices affect their choices.

The results have been compiled into our annual Commuter Pain Index (US), which 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. For example, the commute in Beijing is four times more painful than the commute in Los Angeles or New York, and seven times more painful than the commute in Stockholm, according to the Index. Download the full report from the IBM Institute for Business Value. (PDF, 739KB)

Here's how the cities stack up:

A pain-free commute coming to a city near you? Watch the video.
Commuter Pain Index
Of the worldwide respondents: 91% got stuck in traffic over the past 3 years―with a maximum delay reported to be 1.3 hours on average. 42% say that their stress level has increased due to traffic woes. 49% support the idea of a congestion charges for a more guaranteed journey time.


Smarter transportation

Smarter transportation (US) means better systems for rail, air, public transit and freight. These can improve our cities, our economy and our daily lives.

Improving mobility for the 21st century

IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano addresses members of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America about the opportunities for a smarter transportation system.