Veolia Transdev and IBM Collaborate to Improve Urban Transport in Cities

June 27, 2012
Cities — such as Lyon, France — can connect and optimize complex transport networks and offer more seamless multi-modal transportation experience for its citizens.

Veolia Transdev and IBM announced that together they are developing a smarter mobility solution designed to help cities alleviate road congestion, optimize transportation infrastructures and improve the urban traveler experience.

The first application of the smarter mobility solution is being piloted in the city of Lyon, France, which is the second largest metropolitan area in France outside of Paris, as part of the city’s Optimod project. Optimod'Lyon will test and validate new services to improve the mobility of people, passengers in the urban environment, optimizing and combining the use of transport infrastructure.

“The smarter mobility solution developed by IBM and Veolia Transdev opens new opportunities to all urban mobility projects," said Gérard Collomb, Senator Mayor of Lyon. "This level of innovation is the reason why we engaged with IBM and Veolia Transdev — together with the other partners of the project — to contribute to the Optimod’Lyon partnership aiming at building sustainable mobility solutions for the future.”

The smarter mobility solution brings together Veolia Transdev’s expertise in the public transit industry and IBM’s expertise in managing big data and advanced analytics. Cities will now have the ability to coordinate and connect services across all of its transportation networks, including subways, trams, buses, vehicular and bicycle traffic, and more.

Cities will be able to simplify the management of complicated public transit networks, reduce operational costs and take advantage of predictive operations management, which can help minimize service interruptions, among other benefits. The solution will also allow them to more efficiently use their existing transportation infrastructure while maximizing public transport ridership at the same time. The services provided with this solution open the way for a new model for urban mobility and transport.

The solution leverages IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) designed to give cities a holistic view of city operations — such as water, transportation and public safety — through one central point of command, facilitating faster and more efficient decision-making. Combined with relies on Veolia Transdev’s technology dedicated to urban mobility, the new solution helps a city predict traffic road speed and arrival times and coordinate city responses across the transportation network across multiples modes of transportation within a city, such as buses and trams. These advanced solutions also take into account unplanned events, such as rain storms or traffic accidents, which may cause delays or disruption in service.

Cities will be able to use the solution to build intelligence into its existing transport infrastructure to help anticipate and plan for future transit issues. This can help reduce pollution linked to road congestion, increase public transit revenue that can be invested in new projects to improve quality of life for citizens and reduce costs associated with the creation of new transport infrastructures by optimising usage of those already in existence.

Travelers will have access to real-time information on traffic for a more seamless, multi-modal transportation experience — such as combining bicycle, vehicle and public transit. The service uses predictive analytics, which can help a traveler easily bypass a traffic jam, and provide details about the location and interconnections of the transportation options. Integrated transit information, such as the ability to scan ticket barcode for your journey like with air travel and the ability to simply plan and travel across different public and private transport networks, will be provided through an app for smartphones and tablets. This will help travelers save time and money and enhances the overall traveler experience.

“We have a different and innovative vision of how issues with urban flows can be managed: working with IBM, we offer a global, original and relevant new solution that can be replicated and adapted in any city or conurbation. This solution offers cities a less expensive option compared to the investment required with building new infrastructures, and at the same time, improves quality of life for their citizens,” explains Jérôme Gallot, CEO of the Veolia Transdev Group.

“Today we have the ability to extract intelligence from the huge volume of data that we collect, allowing us to predict and plan for potential disruptions in city operations. This new solution will arm cities with real-time information about their transportation systems so that they can improve efficiency and enhance the travel experience for citizens,” explains Alain Benichou, chairman of IBM France.