How to Improve Istanbul Traffic with Big Data?
The Smart City Talks event ‘Big Data and the City’, was hosted with contributions from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality CIO Dr. Erol Özgüner, and the Founder and Director of Trafipper, Serkan Gürsoy. The event explained how the Istanbul Traffic Authority can benefit from big data, since it provides useful information on data transfers that have occured.
How to measure distance with big data
Gursoy started his presentation by asking the participants the followingn question, “Which units do you use to define the distance between your home and your job location?” He said that the distance between any two points can be expressed in kilometers, number of stops, min / hour or number of transfer(s).
Istanbul residents are willing to pay more to reduce the amount of time spent in traffic
Dr. Serkan Gürsoy, talked about the injustice of the living conditions of people with the same living standards, simply due to traffic problems. He said, “The injustice can be resolved by the synchronization of these two peoples’ traffic commute time. To resolve this issue, we have examined all the research through a socio-technical framework.”
Gürsoy also said, “With the Istanbul Traffic Otoritmi, the mobility between the specified starting and destination points can be made visible. In this way, mobility can be increased, and time and energy can be reduced, by making the right transportation choices in advance.”
If policies are made by analyzing big data, commuter grievances will be reduced
Risks and grievances can be reduced by making use of big data. Considering the rate of accidents caused by ambulances exceeding the speed limit to save lives, ambulances can be positioned in the right areas evenly across the city so they will not have to speed over long distances.
Gürsoy said, “We believe that the injustices suffered by people who have the same living conditions are due to a few different reasons, that are not their own fault. They can be solved by addressing the traffic problem, and equalizing the living standards between these two people. That is why we conduct our research through a socio-technical framework.”
IMM Head of the IT Department, Erol Özgüner, stated that they determine the locations of IMM child nursery centers to be opened, according to spatial data obtained from GIS. He said that decisions about services to be provided to the citizens will be made based on data in the future.
Özgüner said data becomes more usable after making an effort to analyze it, rather than just collecting it. Therefore, IMM wants to conduct public administration based on data in the future. He said “We want to offer the right services to the right places. This is important because, if there are no hospitals within a 15 minutes transportation Radius in the busiest time zones of the day, as a municipality, we need to provide home health services to people in that region.”
Özgüner emphasized the importance of big data for the city of Istanbul and the residents of Istanbul. He stated that in 2020, IMM will open the Open Data Platform, which is a project of the IMM Directorate of Information Technology.
Transportation tariffs should be calculated according to the time spent in traffic, since the morning and evening traffic is not the same.
Inequality in transportation accessibility can create an imbalance in terms of benefiting from cultural opportunities. For example, there is a difference between young people who reach 70 museums in 10 minutes vs. young people who reach 1 museum in 10 minutes. The Trafipper company works with algorithms to ensure equal access to these cultural opportunities.
The distance calculator identifies alternative routes that minimize time and cost, through machine learning. According to these statistics, 84% of Istanbul is calculated from a sample group of fleet vehicles.
Gürsoy, mentioned that the Trafipper Traffıc Store application emphasizes traffic densities from the city location the user chooses, and displays areas of light or intense traffic. The higher the resulting percentage of output, e.g. 67%, it means the region identified will be more advantageous in terms of access to the area. When the application outputs low numbers like 3% or 5%, it signifies to the user that the route will not be useful for transportation.
After Gürsoy’s presentation, there was question and answer session. IMM Head of the IT Department CIO, Dr. Erol Özgüner, and the Founder and Director of Trafipper, Serkan Gürsoy, helpfully answered the participants’ questions.
We would like to thank the distinguished speakers and all participants for attending the event.