Data is key to planning transport’s future says ITS (UK) Young Professionals

Data will continue to be crucial to transport delivery in the future and even more so after the pandemic, according to one ITS (UK) young professional.

Asked about how we will manage transport in the near future, James Bullen, Graduate Consultant of Intelligent Mobility and Smart Technologies at Atkins, who is also Chair of ITS (UK)’s Young Professionals Forum said it’s all about data. “The modelling that we previously used, and which is based on that data, you know, has completely gone out the window,” he said. “But I think that there is still an element of having to collect that real time data. We’ve been looking into mobile phone data looking at the strategic road network , and I think those those types of insights can lead us to dynamically manage the network.”

The ITS (UK)’s Young Professionals have been discussing their reaction to the Coronavirus crisis, how it has affected them and how they see their jobs and transport changing in the future.

Smart Mobility Consultant at Arup, Ashik Mohammed Nazar, who is Young Professionals Forum Vice Chair added that data itself isn’t enough, it needs to be understood. “It’s more the sort of output-driven data that we should be focusing on,” he said. “The DfT reached out to local authorities to to try and capture as much as data they can do to plan resilience around transport strategy going forward. The key is having the data on one side, but at the same time having your core outputs in mind while reaching out for data because this is what would give you intelligent data that would actually help you shape the future.”

ITS (UK)’s Young Professionals Director Abigail Oakley, Consulting Analyst at PA Consulting, added that safety is vital, but noted that Uber remains a popular form of transport despite people worried about getting infected. However she admitted she will be looking at alternative travel as and when she starts heading to her office again, “I don’t see myself getting on the tube,” she explained. “I don’t live that far out of London. So with the new government regulations and encouragement to use walking and cycling to get to work – or potentially e-scooters, they will be options that I will look into in the coming months, I guess when it is safe to potentially work from our London office again.”

Watch the webinar here


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