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Transport for London lays out its innovation roadmap, says network-wide Wi-Fi is a priority

Scott Carey | July 8, 2016
The innovation manager at Transport for London laid out his approach to emerging technologies yesterday, from IoT to VR and what he plans to do with the increasing amount of data they are collecting to make commuters lives better.

5. Finally, there is the Internet of Things (IoT), which provides some very exciting opportunities for a company like TfL.

DaPonte says they are "in the process of connecting as many of our trains and buses and tracks and ventilation systems and ticketing systems to get as much data out of those as possible to see what insights we can get" 

The aim of collecting this data is to get "a much deeper level of experience understanding of customers and the ability to improve their journeys both from a hard engineering point of view but also from a personal point of view," says DaPonte.

There are already more than 30,000 sensors on every train on the underground delivering 2GB of sensor data per week. "It is a huge amount of data we are getting but we couldn't crack completely what to do with it on our own," says DaPonte.

When asked if they were using open source tools for this kind of data processing DaPonte didn't want to discuss the tech stack at TfL. He did say that being a public company, where cost is of huge importance, that open source technologies certainly make sense.

He added: "There are lots of things about storage and analysis that have to happen. I think the interesting part is when we can start to connect that data to the human data out there."

Innovation Portal

The "front door" for TfL when it comes to partnerships is its Innovation Portal. DaPonte explained: "This is where we ask partners to tell us how they can work with us. We post challenges and projects.

DaPonte finished with a challenge for startups and technology companies to "surprise us, come talk to me. We are looking for interesting partners to work with."

Source: TechWorld


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