150 display boards may screen traffic updates
The corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TomTom, a Dutch private navigation technology company, to develop a proof of concept for live traffic updates.
Live updates about the traffic in the areas people are on their way to will appear on the 150 variable messaging display (VMD) boards put up across the city by the Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDCL).
The corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday with TomTom, a Dutch private navigation technology company, to develop a proof of concept.
The pilot project is expected to start in a fortnight.
Officials said the firm will collect information about traffic congestion, road closures and travel time to feed live updates. “Commuters on reading the information on the boards installed along the roads which decide about the route to be taken or avoided to ensure smooth travel,” said Rajendra Jagtap, chief executive officer of PSCDCL.
Officials said automated alerts on the traffic situation will be sent to citizens through PSCDCL’s social media channels at a later stage.
A joint working group of specialists will be formed to implement the project. While finalising the private firm to sign the MoU officials considered factors like data privacy and experience in implementing similar projects in other parts of the country.
Civic officials said the PSCDCL is developing public infrastructure through initiatives like a transit hub and better street furniture. It aims to promote mobility solutions like a public bicycle system, electric buses, e-autos, shuttle services. The current MoU is a step in realizing these goals.
Barbara Belpaire, country head and general manager of TomTom said, “We intend to use traffic maps and historical collection of traffic data to translate big data into real time navigational information which can be used by citizens.”
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the display boards themselves with political parties questioning their legality. They said no permission was taken before installing the boards. They are not only unauthorised, but also a nuisance for traffic especially pedestrians, they argued.