We’re at the Intelligent Transportation Society’s World Congress in Vienna, Austria next week, Mon 22 – Fri 26 October. The theme for this year is ‘Smarter on the Way’ and this is the first year since 2009 that it’s been held in Europe. The full panoply of intelligent transportation issues is addressed, everything to do with software, hardware and firmware that improves the traveler experience, transportation network utilization and capacity optimization. However, the combination of real-time traveler information systems, wireless sensors, GPS and predictive analytics is a specific focus. And increasingly, telematics and V2I/V2V applications are represented.

We’re going to be exhibiting, but also presenting on a special interest panel session: Optimizing ITS from a Customer Service Perspective. Essentially looking at how new technology can be used to make a significant and noticeable difference to a traveler’s experience. Our focus is to bring to bear our experience of consumer and customer quality of experience monitoring from other industries, particularly telecommunications. Social media and Twitter also has a role to play, with significant interest is extracting semantic information from Tweets to detect serious traffic incidents and congestion as it happens. However, there are issues with relying on social media, as I’ve discussed here in a recent ITS International article, Social media mooted for traffic management.

Industries such as transportation, M2M and telematics are clearly leading the way in deploying real-time Big Data applications. And that’s understandable, it’s sensor networks and the Internet of Things that’s creating vast volumes of high velocity data where each event or record has value for only a very short period of time after its creation. If you’d like to understand more about streaming geospatial analytics from live vehicle GPS data, the video below presents a brief overview of a recent deployment.

Continuous ETL for Google BigQuery

There is another significant difference from the traditional business intelligence and real-time analytics market . The mainstream Big Data market is focused entirely on Business Intelligence, a one way function for  collecting data in a static store, and displaying the results on a graph or report. Visualization is also an important consideration for industry, but streaming integration is the first requirement, and the ability of the platform to support real mission critical applications a close second.

The Intelligent Transportation industry has all three requirements in abundance – vast volumes of fixed, wireless GPS sensor data that must be integrated seamlessly across the operational systems, mission critical operation as significant safety, environmental and traveller impact decisions are made as a result, and the abilty to visualize network flow, congestion and alarms.

So if you’re in Vienna, Austria next week, drop by our booth, P21.