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, realtime view can help anticipate problems, alleviate congestion and decrease emergency-response times. IBM Intelligent Transportation (US), a complement to the Intelligent Operations Centre 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.
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IBM Commuter Pain Index
In 2011, IBM performed its fourth comprehensive Commuter Pain Study. 8,042 drivers in 20 cities 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 the 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 (US).
Here's how the cities stack up:
Commuter Pain Index. More pain. Mexico City 108, Shenzen 95, Beijing 95, Nairobi 88, Johannesburg 83, Bangalore 75, New Delhi 72, Moscow 65, Milan 53, Singapore 44. Less pain. Buenos Aires 42, Los Angeles 34, Paris 31, Madrid 28, new York City 28, Toronto 27, Stockhol 26, Chicago 25, London 23, Montreal 21.
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 means better systems for rail, air, public transit and freight. These can improve our cities, our economy and our daily lives.