The future of transport is many things but one thing is for sure—data will underpin everything. This paper outlines an approach and digital transport reference model for transport agencies to get started on a journey to harness the enormous value of their data.
To respond to increased congestion pressure, climate sustainability, and the evolving needs of our societies in a post COVID world transport agencies are making significant investments in both physical and technology infrastructure. These infrastructure investments are driving exponential growth in the amount of data that gets produced and the amount of data that is required to optimise performance and to support the needs of customers. To meet this challenge, transport agencies are focusing on transforming the core of many of their technology assets and enterprise systems which also carry high investment costs and implementation timeframes—this can be seen as an “inside-out” approach with respect to the core systems that manage processes and data in contrast with the technology in the transport network that generates and presents the data.
These core technology investments are in many cases necessary but will come under increased budget pressure going forward. At the same time, there are numerous opportunities to invest in technology out in the network where transport data is generated and distributed to customers—the “outside”. Transport agencies have been running numerous trials which now need to be coordinated and harnessed to deliver sustainable value. These trials, ideas and opportunities require increased coordination to make the most out of the data that gets generated, unlock synergies, and to ultimately support the quality of data that is analysed and processed in the core systems.
This paper considers an “outside-in” approach to transport technology investment and coordination. It is about focusing on technology solutions across the network where transport data is originated and where data distribution occurs through to customers, the community, and transport ecosystem partners. This is not to suggest it is a replacement of more traditional investments in core technology and enterprise systems, but rather that there are opportunities for transport organisations to rapidly harness the value of their data whilst also contributing to the establishment of an enterprise-wide system-of-systems for transport data exchange that will be essential to deliver the future of mobility.
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