Vietnam Taps Big Data to Avoid China’s Traffic Catastrophe

IBM has signed a deal with the city of Da Nang to create a high-tech traffic management system

If you want to see the future of urban transportation, Da Nang is a good place to start. IBM today said it has signed a deal with Vietnam’s fourth-largest city to install a high-tech traffic management system to help the rapidly growing seaport avoid the fate of Chinese cities choking on cars and pollution.

Software and sensors embedded in roads, highways and on buses will allow administrators to synchronize stop lights to minimize traffic jams and make the most of Da Nang’s limited public transportation system. With a population of 1 million, the city operates only 100 buses, and officials want to discourage a growing middle class from buying cars by improving the reliability and efficiency of the public transport system. Video screens and mobile apps will show commuters when buses will arrive and in the future could alert them to how crowded a vehicle will be when it arrives.
“In Europe or the US you sometimes see that public transport is laid out along historical lines based on past development,” Eric-Mark Huitema, IBM’s global smarter transportation leader, told Quartz. “In Da Nang we base the transport grid on where people are moving, where they’re coming from and where the city is growing.”

Read more at Quartz