Toyota Mobility Foundation and partners to launch Rama4 project to ease traffic congestion in Bangkok
The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) and its Thai partners in the Ministry of Transport, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Metropolitan Police Bureau, Chulalongkorn University and Grab Thailand will launch a project to ease traffic congestion on Rama4 Road. It will be known as the “Rama4 Model.”
This project was initiated as an extension of the “Sathorn Model” which took place from 2015-2017 and achieved positive results through the implementation of a variety of countermeasures. These included traffic signal control optimizations, the introduction of smart shuttle services, flexible working time, park & ride, and more.
These activities allowed the development of a clear roadmap to counter congestion, and the partners submitted it to the Thai government for implementation across the city.
This new “Rama4 Model” project, which will be funded through a grant of approximately 50 million baht (US$1.7 million) from Toyota Mobility Foundation to Chulalongkorn University, is scheduled to last about 18 months from November 2019 through early 2021.
It is a trial to study and test the ability to use advanced data-driven solutions that can ease traffic congestion on the Rama4 Road. The partners selected Rama4 Road as the location because it is one of the most congested areas in Bangkok. It embodies a unique set of circumstances including significant growth potential for new business and residential areas such as One Bangkok and Samyarn Mitrtown Project, among others.
The critical component of this project is the effective usage of huge and diverse sets of data from several sources such as GPS data from Grab Taxi and Public Buses, CCTV footage and multiple sensors. This data will be combined with new technology for analysis (AI and Machine Learning) and knowledge from mobility and technology experts from private and academic entities such as Chulalongkorn University, ITIC, AIT, Siametrics and Waycare.
The project will seek to understand and visualize current traffic conditions and status, deeply comprehend trends and patterns to predict future traffic issues, and eventually gain insights for the design of traffic management systems, transportation networks and city planning adaptations. All the partners believe that this trial project will be “a big step towards Mobility for All.”
The key success factor for this project is to have good public, academic and private partnership. The government will show initiative and leadership to deliver data and eventually implement the identified countermeasures to solve traffic congestion issues for their citizens. Academic institutions, such as Chulalongkorn University as the primary project coordinator, will push the most advanced technology and know-how to develop the skills and capabilities to manage this complex issue in Thailand. Private parties such as Grab and AIT will contribute data and traffic optimization knowledge. Finally, the Toyota Mobility Foundation, as an independent foundation, will support through funding, mobility know-how, and project management.
It is clear that without close collaboration and cooperation of all parties, complex traffic issues cannot be solved. As the partners implement this project, it is equally critical that residents of Bangkok strongly take ownership and support these types of initiatives, TMF said.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society. The Foundation aims to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. It utilizes Toyota's expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, government, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world. Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for next generation mobility.