York Deploys Data Exchange Platform for Smart Travel Programme

City of York Council has introduced city-wide real time transport modelling to help ease congestion and pollution through its Smart Travel Evolution Programme (STEP).

STEP is aimed at improving journeys and reducing pollution in the city, and will involve generating a multi-layered, real time model of traffic, public transport and air quality data, enabling York to prepare for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The council began phase one of the programme earlier this year, working on improvements to the connectivity and data collection of its transport technology assets to future proof how it deals with changing levels of demand for travel.

It has now entered phase two in partnership with Alchera Technologies, introducing an intelligent data exchange platform to manage the underlying data structure and provide real time anonymised data on the movement of vehicles around the city.

The council is using the company’s Alpha software, which takes large volumes of data from existing networks and delivers it to transport and mobility related applications using advanced machine learning, data fusion and analytics. This can support a growing portfolio of data driven infrastructure use cases.  

Early phase

Dave Atkinson, head of transport at City of York Council, commented:

“We’re still in the early deployment phase of Alpha and we expect the platform to be fully enabled by the end of the year.

“Previously, the council has monitored the network through staff checking CCTV and social media feeds, with network monitoring operators and transport engineers manually implementing new signal changes to better manage the flow of traffic in busy periods.

“Alpha will be the data powerhouse working integrating with cutting edge traffic modelling software to provide network optimisation and predictions.”

Anna Jordan, co-founder of Alchera Technologies, said:

“This represents the only demonstration of absolute, real time traffic counts and classifications, at city scale, in the UK today.

“Data in the system is handled in a fully transparent and auditable way - recognising that data ownership and usage will be critical in future smart cities.”