Ericsson shows how mobile network data can optimise public transport

Mobile network data can be used to optimise public transport, Ericsson believes.

Last week, the communications technology company announced Automated Networked Transport, a new intelligent transport system that perfectly illustrates how smart cities can make the most of the huge amount of data that’s already out there.

Ericsson’s new offering makes it possible to use telecom network data to analyse the movements of people in cities and to learn where, when, how and why they use public transport. This can be used to create bus schedules based on existing commuter needs and adjusted dynamically in real time.

Similarly, in the case of major sporting or entertainment events, when public transport networks can be overwhelmed by travellers converging in one place, transport operators can review people’s movements during previous events and arrange tailored schedules.

As Ericsson pointed out, in today’s connected society almost all city dwellers carry a mobile phone wherever they go.

We have developed a system that collects this information and analyses it so that transport operators can gain an in-depth understanding of commuter travel patterns, explained Orvar Hurtig, head of Industry & Society at Ericsson.

Since we remove any information that could be used to identify individuals, their privacy is guaranteed. Using distributed computing, a tremendous amount of data can be analysed and transport networks can be dynamically modified to better serve the needs of commuters.

With urban populations growing rapidly, the solution to ever-increasing public transport needs is not to increase the number of vehicles, which simply raises operational costs, traffic congestion and pollution. Instead, intelligent transport systems such as Automated Networked Transport can help optimise existing transport networks, Ericsson said.

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