Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app has announced Transport for London as its 100th global partner. The Waze Connected Citizens Programme is designed as a free data exchange, and it’s great to see Waze – used by several hundred thousand drivers in London – using TfL’s roads open data to provide its app users about traffic information on TfL’s Road Network. In the coming weeks, it will also be interesting to see how TfL will be able to use the data shared by Waze.
The City of London Corporation are planning essential major maintenance works to Tower Bridge. The work will require a full closure of the bridge to all vehicle and cyclist traffic for three months. The closure will be in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from Saturday 1 October to Friday 30 December 2016.
As part of our open data policy, we’re releasing a full data set of the closure to allow developers to easily incorporate this data into their apps, helping Londoners to plan their journeys while the works are ongoing.
Chirdeep Chhabra from Digital Catapult gives an update on the Transport and Mobility Challenge, including an extended deadline for those taking part.
As previously posted on this blog, London Data City | Data Nation was launched on 12 April, with a series of 6 month-long challenges being undertaken by teams in London and Singapore.
The first in the series of challenges is the Transport and Mobility challenge, which is now underway and runs until Monday 16 May.
At the launch event for the challenge Rikesh Shah, Lead Digital Relationship Manager at TfL, introduced our open data policy and set the scene for the challenge. Following up on the launch event, Rikesh has a message for the participants with some handy extra info:
I hope you’re all enjoying the challenge.
At the launch of the Data Nation challenge I promised that I would provide more information about TfL, with a particular focus on customer insight. So, I am delighted to provide a link to some useful information.
In particular, have a look at Chapter 7 which focuses on Customer Experience.
All the best,
Transport for London
The London Data City | Data Nation challenge was launched on the morning of Tuesday 12 April at an event hosted by Digital Catapult. The launch event outlined the context and details of the 6 month-long challenge being undertaken by teams in London and Singapore, starting with the Transport and Mobility challenge that runs until Monday 16 May.
In partnership with TfL, the Greater London Authority and Ford, Digital Catapult are setting challenges based around 2 key questions:
Public Transport Challenge
How can we accurately identify, filter and characterise transportation delay events across large-scale, dynamic, multi-modal transportation systems?
Enabling users to make seamless progress towards their destination. People need help to very quickly identify breaks in the system and need greater help for decision making in case the system breaks and when to abandon their plans for a better option. Participants need to choose data sources (from sandbox or beyond) to achieve the end goal.
Road Network Challenge
How can we enhance customer service and experience across London’s road network?
Through Data City | Data Nation we intend to deliver new technology solutions that help understand and predict events on London’s road network and go about enhancing the overall customer experience whilst travelling that network. TfL will provide SCOOT traffic data (described in more detail here) to participants of the challenge that is not yet publicly available.
We’ll update this blog as key milestones in the challenge are met, and will of course announce the winners in May. Good luck to all taking part!
Setting the scene for the challenge
There were many expert speakers setting the context and details of the challenge, and their presentations are summarised below.
Introduction – Chirdeep Chhabra, Digital Catapult
- Digital Catapult’s 4 main areas of focus: Sharing of data between organisations, personal data, content and licensed data and data generated across the Internet of Things
- Data City | Data Nation overview: Brings together London and Singapore and private sector closed data in a sandbox for innovation, 6 months duration for the whole challenge. Transport and Mobility starts today
- Aim is to produce new insight into public services and private products
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
As previously outlined in our post on March 30 on this blog, the Traffic Data Hack Day was hosted by Amazon Web Services on April 6. The event was attended by TfL employees, academics working within this subject area, data scientists, transport app developers and data visualisation developers.
Another key event in our engagement with those working with our open data, the day was split into two areas, with one focussed on visualising TfL data and the other on extracting data from the source and providing it for analysis.
I’ve not attended a hackathon or hack day before, so it was really interesting to see how they work and to meet participants from all sorts of backgrounds, including universities, consultancies, government agencies and other parts of TfL.
At the beginning of the day we split the focus into two areas; ‘EMR (Elastic Map Reduce)’ where the group was looking at ways to improve the feed of, access to and processing of the SCOOT data and ‘Redshift’ where the group made use of data that had been uploaded to the system and was ready to analyse.
Join us for the launch of the London Data City | Data Nation transport and mobility challenge on Tuesday 12 April. Hosted by Digital Catapult, this event will set the scene for the challenge with industry stakeholders and keynote speakers alongside leading transport organisations.
TfL have agreed the challenges with Ford, the other partner for this event, and we’ll also be providing expert speakers and judges and offering technical support to the participants. We’ll be providing open data from our Unified API as well as the historic Traffic Data Enquiry System (TDES) data generated by SCOOT traffic sensors across London (which detect traffic flows at junctions and then optimise traffic signals every second to help keep vehicles moving).
Our TDES data hasn’t been made publicly available yet, so we’re hoping to see some great innovative solutions to some of the key transport and mobility challenges, from participants both in London and Singapore.
This event is another example of our continuing commitment to open data with over 8,000 registered users, as well as our determination to open up our data and support the developer community as much as possible to help create great products and solutions that help London keep working and growing, and make life in the city better.
Where and when
Venue: Digital Catapult Centre
101 Euston Road, London, NW1 2RA
View on Google Maps
12 April 2016 09:00 – 12:00
You can register for the event here
**Registration for this event is now closed**
TfL’s Urban Traffic Control System (UTC) uses 12,000 sensors located at junctions across the Capital to measure traffic flow. The data produced is used to drive SCOOT – the traffic light optimiser system – and on Wednesday 6 April we’re aiming to generate greater value from this as-yet untapped data source.
We want to configure a data processing engine for UTC data and begin exploring this large data set using the tools business users are familiar with, such as R Studio and Tableau, as well as event streams, map reduce type platforms and machine learning tools.
The event is part of our ongoing drive to work with the dev community to create great products from our open data, and offers an opportunity to learn and experiment with cloud tools in a safe, sandbox type environment. Experts from TfL’s Road Space Management team will be on hand to provide support.
Where and when
Venue: Amazon Development Centre, Leadenhall Court, One Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 1PP
6 April 2016 09:00 – 17:00
Lunch will be provided, so please let us know any dietary requirements.
Please confirm your attendance by Tuesday 5th April – you can register for the event here: http://www.cvent.com/d/4fqcf4
The London Marathon is one of the most famous sporting events in the world, and thousands of participants will once again be taking up the challenge through central London on April 24. There will be significant road closures on and around the route of the Marathon and drivers are advised, where possible, to avoid driving in central and southeast London from early morning until evening.
There are typically full road closures, starting early in the morning between Greenwich Park and St James’s Park. Central and City closures will typically include all approaches to Upper Thames Street, Tower Hill and Victoria Embankment. Rotherhithe Tunnel, Tower, Southwark and Westminster bridges will also be closed. A phased reopening of roads usually takes place from around midday with all roads expected to be fully reopened by 19:00.
Some roads that are nearby the closures are also generally busier as a result of drivers seeking alternative routes, and we’re determined to help road users as much as we possibly can on the day of the event.
What have we done?
To allow third parties to understand the extent, scope and timing of these road closures, we’ve created a data set of all the road closures that will be in place for this year’s London Marathon. This has been created using an industry data exchange standard called DATEX II.
This is part of a pilot where we’ll be trialling a different approach to releasing data, with the intention of helping developers make great products for drivers.
The Disruptive Technology and Road Transport event took place last Wednesday, February 10, and was part of the Streets Ahead exhibition currently running at the New London Architecture.
The purpose of the event was to continue TfL’s engagement with the technology sector and road user groups, to consider how technology is introducing new challenges and opportunities for the way the road network functions. It was also a good chance to help shape our collective thinking on how to respond, and to identify the role that the tech sector can play in solving some of the challenges London faces.
The event was split into two halves, with speakers presenting to the audience in the first half before a group discussion across multiple tables, with each tackling a different topic.
The speakers at the event were as follows:
- Chair’s Welcome: Ben Plowden (TfL)
- Scene Setting: Isabel Dedring (Deputy Mayor for Transport)
- The Future is Now: Greg Lindsay (Journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker.
- Traffic Management in the Digital Age: Alan Bristow and Helen Chapman (TfL)