Cutting Edge Project Uses Cell Phone Data to Plan Bus Routes
"Researchers at IBM, using movement data collected from millions of cell-phone users in Ivory Coast in West Africa, have developed a new model for optimizing an urban transportation system," reports David Talbot. "The IBM model prescribed changes in bus routes around the around Abidjan, the nation’s largest city. These changes—based on people’s movements as discerned from cell-phone records—could, in theory, slash travel times 10 percent."
"The IBM work was done as part of a research challenge dubbed Data for Development, in which the telecom giant Orange released 2.5 billion call records from five million cell-phone users in Ivory Coast."
"IBM calls its model AllAboard. For Abidjan, the model selected among 65 possible improvements to conclude that adding two routes and extending an existing one would do the most to optimize the system, with a 10 percent time savings for commuters."