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IBM and University of Guadalajara create Smarter Cities Exploration Center; transportation pilot seeks to reduce commuting time in city by 15%
28 December 2011
IBM and the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) in Mexico have created a Smarter Cities Exploration Center. Supported by technical and intellectual guidance of IBM’s global research lab experts, the Center will be the first of its kind in Latin America, tasked with the mission to design solutions to tackle infrastructure challenges faced by Guadalajara—Mexico’s second-largest city—and other cities around the world.
Joint work between IBM and the University of Guadalajara will focus on research aimed at identifying ways to apply advances in technology to the high degrees of instrumentation and massive data volumes that comprise the core systems of a city such as transportation, healthcare, education, public safety, energy and water.
The center has already started the development of a transportation pilot that could reduce commuting time in the city by 15%, representing approximately US$ 90 million in savings per year by enabling citizens to use their time more productively and decrease carbon emissions.
This pilot—the first in a series of initiatives—will provide real-time analysis and forecasting of traffic behavior for 1.7 million vehicles in Guadalajara, enabled by supercomputing technology, analytics and web services connected to mobile devices feeding updates to users. The objective is to increase the efficiency of commuting alternatives, including a 17-km-long (or approximately 10 miles) north-to-south corridor that currently takes more than an hour to complete.
IBM and the University will share knowledge through the exchange of intellectual property among researchers, and the use of IBM’s data analytics, supercomputing and cloud computing capabilities to drive the development of new pilots and solutions.
The University will foster the assimilation of high-level competencies and expertise by its doctoral students and researchers, to support efforts designed to tackle issues that have a high social and economic impact for Latin America.
Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities. Earlier this year, IBM introduced the Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, a new solution designed to help cities of all sizes gain a holistic view of information across city departments and agencies. By infusing analytical insights into municipal operations through one central point of command, cities are to be able to better anticipate problems, respond to crises, and manage resources.
IDC Government Insights estimates the new Smarter Cities information technology market opportunity at $34 billion in 2011, increasing more than 18% per year to $57 billion by 2014.
All cities are made up of a complex system of systems that are all inextricably linked. The Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities recognizes the behavior of the city as a whole, thus providing more coordinated and timely decision-making based on deep insights into how each city system will react to a given situation. With more than 2,000 smarter cities engagements worldwide, we are now applying best practices and solutions that can be scaled to cities of all sizes around the globe.—Anne Altman, general manager, Global Public Sector, IBM
As the majority of the world’s population moves to metropolitan areas, key city systems such as water, power and transportation are being severely strained. For citizens, a smarter city can mean automatically finding the fastest way to get to work, electricity and drinking water that can be counted on, and safer streets, to start.
The Intelligent Operations Center combines patented analytics technologies, created by IBM Research in collaboration with cities around the world, as well as leading edge technologies acquired in recent acquisitions. It is also designed to run on IBM workload-optimized systems.
SmarterCities Forum. In November, IBM hosted the SmarterCities Forum in Rio de Janeiro—an event that brought together 550 leaders of business, academia and government from various cities across Latin America and the globe to discuss models to make cities smarter.
To address issues that are common to the entire region, the SmarterCities Rio forum brought forth best practices and pragmatic suggestions for making city systems smarter in critical areas such as security, transportation, energy and construction, among others.
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