Data61 out to bust Sydney congestion

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Data61 out to bust Sydney congestion

Secures premier's innovation grant for big data project.

Sydney’s commuters could soon be able to search the best option for the morning drive to work based on real-time data feeds crunched by researchers at Data61.

Data61 - which was formed out of a merger between NICTA and the digital arm of the CSIRO - has secured a slice of funding from the NSW premier’s innovation initiative as a result of its bid to ease the angst caused by the 16 million trips made by Sydneysiders every weekday.

The partnership will see Data61 experts harness real-time and historical feeds from Opal cards, traffic signals and GPS trackers on state buses, as well as anonymised data from in-vehicle GPS devices, to work out the best traffic management options and deliver real-time travel time estimates to the NSW transport management centre.

Transport for NSW said 70 percent of all weekday car trips in Sydney are completed during peak hour, estimating the congestion costs Sydney about $5 billion every year.

It is looking for “out-of-the-box” thinking to solve its congestion conundrum.

The state government has an eye on similar data-driven transport solutions in play around the world. In Toronto, it said, the city has cut traffic delays at intersections by between 14 and 33 percent by configuring the timing of traffic lights to improve traffic flow,

In Hong Kong, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, drivers can use the eRouting mobile app to calculate their estimated journey time and best-route guidance in real time.

The NSW transport department said it is aiming to improve peak hour travel times while also driving up patronage on the city’s public transport network.

It has been contacted regarding the value of the Data61 grant.

Congestion was one of three policy areas targeted by the innovation initiative market-sounding exercise, alongside social housing and open data.

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