Grab and World Bank in open-source traffic management push in the Philippines
By Digital News Asia April 7, 2016
- Grab and World Bank developing free, open-source tools for traffic management
- OpenTraffic to be made available to other SEA city governments in near future
RIDE-sharing startup Grab, the World Bank, and the Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) have launched an open data initiative to address traffic congestion and road safety challenges.
In a statement, Grab said it and the World Bank have been developing free, open-source tools that translate Grab’s driver GPS data into anonymised traffic statistics, including speeds, flows, and intersection delays.
This information will be used to power big data tools such as OpenTraffic for analysing traffic speeds and flows; and Driver (Data for Road Incident Visualisation, Evaluation, and Reporting), for identifying road incident blackspots and improving emergency response times.
“By leveraging advances in open-software and big data collaborations with companies like Grab, transport managers and city planners can have access to the most advanced congestion management analytical tools available,” said World Bank country director Mara Warwick.
Grab and the World Bank plan to make OpenTraffic available to other South-East Asian city governments in the near future, the company added.
“Using big data is one of the potential solutions to the challenges faced by our transport systems,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya.
“Through this we can provide accurate, real-time information that can help alleviate traffic congestion and improve road safety,” he added in the statement issued by Grab.
Last month, the World Bank and DOTC helped train more than 200 government staff from the agency, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Cebu City Transportation Office on the use of the OpenTraffic platform.
“We share a common objective of using big data to make critical decisions about traffic and infrastructure management,” said Poch Ceballos, head of GrabTaxi, Grab Philippines.
“With Grab’s network of drivers travelling across Philippine cities every day, there is a rich real-time GPS dataset now readily available to DOTC as our public service,” he added.
In the near future, traffic statistics from OpenTraffic (pic below) will be fed into the Driver app for road incident recording and analysis. This application, developed by the World Bank, will help engineering units prioritise crash-prone areas for interventions and improve emergency response.
Singapore-headquartered and Malaysian-founded Grab operates in 30 cities across six countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In addition to World Bank support, grant funding for the development of the OpenTraffic and Driver open source platforms has been provided by the Korean Green Growth Trust Fund.
This fund helps World Bank Group client countries with knowledge to plan and implement green growth strategies, initiatives, and investments.
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