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Image: Alan Turing Institute

The Toyota Mobility Foundation is supporting the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, on an AI project to optimize traffic flow in mobility systems. The programme aims to transition complex traffic management from static systems into dynamic, optimized systems with real-time management across different modes of mobility – and ultimately, to modernize and transform the way that cities are planned and managed.

The 18-month collaboration will bring together researchers and software engineers from the Turing Institute and universities of Cambridge and Manchester with mobility experts from the Toyota Mobility Foundation, data providers, and government managers from the Future Cities programme. It will look at work including ongoing projects with the Greater London Authority.

Potential outcomes of the project include integrating an AI system for traffic light control; building a platform to monitor and predict traffic behaviour and test planning scenarios; and finding ways for fleet operators and cities to work together. The example of data-sharing on congestion and pollution hotspots, and subsequent re-routing, is given.

Alan Wilson, lead researcher and CEO of the Alan Turing Institute, said in a statement: “Our vision is that city planners and operators should have a system that shows them real-time data feeds, lets them analyse how the city is working, integrates mathematical and computer modelling as well as machine learning models so that they can test out scenarios, and gives them insight into when behaviour patterns are changing.

“Because of data and new technology, transport patterns can now change dramatically in a short time. We hope that this will lead to improvements in health and mobility for city populations as well as safety and efficiency in traffic management.”

-Farah Alkhalisi