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Smart Traffic

How we get from point A today
to point B tomorrow

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The city of the future may have fleets of smaller buses that change routes on the fly to go where they are needed most, while larger buses travel high demand routes in peak periods. All will be integrated with a system that dynamically tracks and adjusts their movements, to meet changing user needs

Traffic Congestion

Clogged roadways need new approaches

Next time you're stuck in traffic ground to a halt, think about this: as smart as our cars have become, our roadways are about to get a whole lot smarter.

It's certainly needed. Cities everywhere are battling an increase in demand and an inability to build sufficient infrastructure to cope. For example, in the U.S., as population grew nearly 20% between 1982 and 2001, traffic jumped 236%.

Building new roads and new lanes often just isn't possible any longer, but building intelligence into the roads and the cars—with roadside sensors, radio frequency tags, and global positioning systems—certainly is.

In Stockholm, a new smart toll system has reduced traffic congestion and carbon emissions by impressive percentages.

In London, a congestion management system has lowered traffic volume to mid-1980s levels. In Singapore, a system can predict traffic speeds with nearly 90% accuracy. With future enhancements, the system will help predict—rather than merely monitor—other traffic conditions, as well.

The roads to a smarter planet (346KB) 22 opportunities for a smarter planet (5.5MB)
A series of conversations for a smarter planet, The roads to a smarter planet (346KB), 22 opportunities for a smarter planet (5.5MB)


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.



Nobody likes traffic congestion

Every year, traffic wastes 58 supertankers of fuel. What can you do? Build a smarter planet.

Watch the video on how IBM is helping to build a smarter planet by redcing traffic congestion, saving gas and time and reducing greenhouse gases.


Traffic systems are part of a larger system

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:

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


How often do you get stuck in stand-still traffic?

More than once a day
Several times a week
A few times a month
Very rarely