IBM and Trafficmaster, an expert in intelligent driving, are analysing driver data in deeper ways to help motorists spend less time in traffic.
Trafficmaster’s SmartNav enhanced route-planning tool incorporates a dynamic probe collection system which is powered by a combination of IBM hardware, software and storage. IBM technology is also at the heart of Trafficmaster’s Geocore solution for the retrieval and processing of huge volumes of driver locations which are collected to provide a very wide range of telematics services for both businesses and consumers.
“Trafficmaster is able to provide drivers with real-time route planning and more accurate estimated arrival times than ever before with the help of the IBM Informix data base technology,” said Stuart Berman, Executive Director, Trafficmaster. “By giving drivers better information about their journeys, we are able to help reduce stress levels that drivers can encounter on the roads, especially around holiday times.”
“Cities everywhere are battling with stressed transportation networks,” said Doug Wilson, Client Manager, IBM UK. “This is an enormous problem with nearly 300 million drivers in Europe, traffic congestion costs the EU around euro 100 billion each year. To help address this issue in the UK, IBM is partnering with Trafficmaster to take a smarter approach to motoring by analysing data and unlocking trends to intelligently plan journeys. This has a positive impact on the driver, society, and the environment.”
Trafficmaster provides a range of intelligent driving services through its telematics technology platform, and in partnership with mobile phone operator 02. Huge amounts of data are collected from vehicles and sensors covering the UK’s motorways and trunk roads to provide services such as fleet management and stolen vehicle tracking, as well as smarter route-planning.
SmartNav, for example, is an intelligent route-finding service that is already popular among its customers — and is fitted as standard in Citroen light commercial vehicles. It uses satellite navigation and live traffic information to find the best routes and to suggest alternatives when traffic is congested. The data provided through the IBM system enables real road speeds to be logged so that accurate time aware routing and estimated arrival times can be provided to SmartNav drivers.
The latest innovation from Trafficmaster to utilise the IBM technology is the On-Demand Business Mileage Reporting system. This gives drivers instant, totally accurate access to their mileage records via their SmartNav navigation system or Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking system. It recalls all journey start and end locations, the time taken to make the journey and the exact distance travelled. Drivers know exactly where their car was at any given time or day and just have to classify the journey as business or private mileage.
On Demand has also now been adopted by BMW as part of their stolen vehicle security package available as an option on all BMW and MINI models.
Berman continues, “We had a very demanding set of requirements and it was important the solution we chose would perform well. Several factors helped us choose IBM, but primarily the IBM team was prepared to go the extra mile and to show us that their database was up to the job. Now we have the ‘engine’ to process our valuable data, there is more potential for innovative offerings particularly in areas such as pay-as-you-drive insurance and road pricing. We are experts in vehicle data collection, and IBM has skills in bringing that data into a structured format, analysing it and delivering it — and the systems integration expertise to build applications for our clients. Together we are able to provide a very powerful offering.”