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IBM to Bring Smarter Transportation to Texas

IBM and university-based Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) are partnering to develop intelligent transportation projects in Texas, aimed at easing traffic congestion, which will lead to reduced accidents, improved emergency response times and cost savings. The goal is to solve transportation issues in Texas first and eventually worldwide.

The partnership will leverage IBM’s expertise in smarter transportation projects and technologies, which range from traffic prediction tools to road charging systems and high-speed rail and TTI’s knowledge in transportation research.

IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano made the announcement during a recent speech at the 20th annual meeting of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA 2010), reports CNET.

This latest partnership is part of IBM’s strategy for a Smarter Planet, aimed at helping cities become smarter by providing new technologies and tools to help them better manage their resources, while reducing cost, increasing reliability and lowering energy and water consumption.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also announced $775 million in funding for transit agencies across the U.S. to upgrade their bus systems, and expects to make another announced about vehicle-to-vehicle communication or IntelliDrive that would provide standard communication in cars by combining a system similar to Wi-Fi with a global positioning system, reports CNET.

The partnership between IBM and Texas will follow the federal intelligent transportation research agenda set by LaHood and the Obama Administration, and create a long-term, sustainable operational model that can be applied to state transportation agencies and universities in the U.S. and around the world.

The collaboration will initially work to develop proofs-of-concept and extensive pilot deployments at the state and regional level, which will follow the DOT initiative of implementing IntelliDrive technology.

IBM says with the use of technology such as road sensors and predictive analytics, transportation systems can be made smarter, allowing agencies to be more proactive in dealing with traffic issues.

As an example cited by IBM, the city of Stockholm is using the company’s streaming analytics technology to gather real-time information from GPS devices on nearly 1,500 taxi cabs to provide the city with real-time information on traffic flow, travel times and the best commuting options. The service will be expanded to gather data from delivery trucks, traffic sensors, transit systems, pollutions monitors and weather information sources.

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