‘Smart Cambridge’ Data Hub to Combat Cambridge Congestion
A new hi-tech ‘data hub’ for Cambridge could help transform journeys in and around the city as the ‘smart cities’ agenda moves from futuristic dream to reality.
The City Deal’s ‘Smart Cambridge’ workstream has now unveiled three specific projects that harness ‘smart’ technology to help tackle congestion.
Digital screens will advise and guide visitors as they arrive at Cambridge railway station; ‘motion maps’ which plot the best transport options will be available as an app on residents’ mobile phones and tablets, while real-time bus updates will be significantly improved.
These projects will all be fed their information from the new Cambridge ‘data hub’ – made up of reams of information from various sources around the city.
And there’s much more to come, as Smart Cambridge is exploring how data, innovative technology and better connectivity can be used to transform the way people use the city’s transport network, reduce congestion and boost the local economy.
Early suggestions presented to the City Deal assembly on Friday suggested smart technology could cut traffic in Cambridge by 15 to 20 per cent – the same reduction as that seen during school holidays, when the city’s roads flow much freer.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, chairman of the City Deal board, said: “The Greater Cambridge City Deal has agreed in principle to allocate £280,000 to develop smart technologies, better connectivity and smart engineering that will make all our lives better and tackle transport, congestion and other city challenges.
“There is potentially more money on the table given what we could achieve through our partnerships with universities and our world-leading Cambridge technology businesses, so we are looking at other smart transport projects.
“Smart data solutions will give people far better travel choices, and improve the quality of journeys for those living and travelling around Greater Cambridge, and we are determined to think smarter about how we provide quality sustainable transport for our growing community.”
Supported through the Connecting Cambridgeshire partnership, the pioneering programme has begun setting out how it aims to make Greater Cambridge a ‘smart city’ with its own IT infrastructure.
It is developing a ‘smart city management platform’ with scope for myriad smart applications, including: a data network to support ‘Internet of Things’ technology – allowing products to ‘talk’ to each other – alongside the data hub to collate and process data from an array of sensors around the city.
There is an opportunity to use sensors in roads, pavements, traffic lights, lamp-posts and buildings to monitor a range of measures including air quality, traffic, cycle and pedestrian movements.