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Benefits grow exponentially, the more your transport data are shared and re-used

By vincentbultot | Aug 24, 2018

In an increasingly connected world, the amount of data being gathered is exploding. And nowhere this is more evident than in the transport sector, with cars, airplanes, ships, trucks and public transport producing tons of data each day. Traffic data, like congestion info and sensors for managing public transportation such as trains and buses. Or vehicle-specific data from sensors in cars and trucks, measuring everything from CO2 emissions to speed. Some Jaguar Landrover vehicles for example collect data about problems in the highway surface (e.g. potholes), which is subsequently used to create warnings for other JLR drivers.

In just two years’ time, according to Accenture, 98 per cent of new cars will be connected through the Internet of Things. Five years later, it will be 100 per cent, giving car manufacturers a wealth of data from millions of vehicles. Data which can be sold to public authorities, but also to big restaurant chains, so people will automatically be invited when they are in the area. Accenture predicts that data from connected cars will be worth more than € 4,000 per car in extra revenues for the manufacturer, with selling it on to third parties accounting for a fifth of that sum.

A world of opportunities

These data can be used for a variety of purposes. In the insurance area, your insurance premium can be based on your driving frequency and your driving style, making auto insurance premiums fairer and giving individuals greater control over insurance costs. Preventative service and maintenance can enable fleet operators to minimize the amount of time cars spend off the road by monitoring the state of each individual component.

And imagine the enormous opportunities if the data from individual vehicles were opened up and combined with publicly available information on traffic, roadworks and the like. Something that’s already starting to happen in Singapore, where the government has signed deals with Scania and Toyota Tsusho to develop autonomous truck platoons for use on public roads, with a human-driven truck leading a convoy of driverless vehicles.

Sharing economy

Thanks to the sharing economy and the success of smartphones, mobility apps like Waze (cars), Strava (bicycles) and Moovit (pedestrians) have been collecting loads of useful data as well. Data they are already sharing with cities and states around the world. Michael Horvath, co-founder of Strava, admits that this is not without a vested interest for the company: “Better analysis means improved bike routes, which in turn should mean more riders to download the app.” At Uber we hear a similar reasoning, when they state that more efficient transportation in a city in general means more efficient Uber service delivery, happier customers and better usage rates.

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, chairman and co-founder of the ODI (Open Data Institute), sums it up quite nicely: “Data is unlike many other assets. The benefits from its use and reuse grow exponentially the more it is shared and open, combined and linked with other data.” A statement that applies to many sectors, but to transportation in particular.

As far as the data sharing is concerned, Waze and Moovit have data-swapping models in place, whereas Strava and other companies are selling their data to individual cities. But imagine what a decentralized data marketplace like DataBroker DAO could do for these companies, enabling them to put their valuable transport data up for sale in one go!

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