Big data set to reduce big traffic jams as connected cities take shape

In research carried out by Virgin Media Business, directors and business owners also ranked improving public transport and studying the environment as areas where big data could be put to good use.

Using super-fast connectivity and data management, connected cities rely on a constant analysis of big data to help better plan and control urban areas. These connected cities are in the pipeline since the Chancellor pledged £100 million to create 100Mbit/s citywide networks in 10 urban areas. A further £50 million has been earmarked to improve internet access in 10 other cities.

Lee Hull, director, public sector, Virgin Media Business, said: “The idea of connected cities used to be a topic for science fiction books and future gazers. The fact is, connected cities are going to become a reality sooner rather than later. With the UK government strongly supporting a more joined up public sector, both in terms of infrastructure and collaboration, big data supporting better transport and road systems may just be around the corner for the British public.

“Public sector organisations and local councils in particular are already joining forces and laying the foundations to roll out technology that changes the way public services are delivered. While intelligent traffic management may be just around the corner, there are some examples of transformational technology that are the building blocks to a future that’s connected.

“Education is one area that’s already bearing fruit from the use of big data and a more connected public sector. This can be seen with the work the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has done to revolutionise education in the capital. 2,500 schools will be connected up to a high-speed fibre-optic network that’s able to support unique learning tools such as interactive whiteboards and e-learning. The initiative is connecting parents, teachers and pupils to resources and huge amounts of learning data to enable a richer education environment.

“In order for more examples like this to become common place, and for our future to be even more connected then we must have the right infrastructure in place to underpin this.”