There has been recent public debate in Israel regarding the imposing of congestion pricing fees as a solution to Israel’s traffic congestion problems. This is yet another in a series of proposed solutions for the colossal traffic congestion problem in Israel, which includes fantasies of a subway system, carpooling projects and an array of incentives to the public in the form of fines. According to big data entrepreneur Gilad Tisona, the only realistic solution to the traffic congestion problem is harnessing big data to the transport system.
Israel is a startup nation, a technological superpower in the areas of chip manufacturing, applications, cyber and so on. Israel also has leading automotive sector startups. There is no reason not to harness this inventiveness to solve the transportation problems plaguing Israel and the rest of the world.
According to Gilad Tisona, in the era of autonomous vehicles (which is not as far off as we may think) many of the technologies used in the field will be Israeli: sensors all around the vehicle to prevent accidents, information security to will prevent criminals from remotely gaining control of vehicles, and especially the collection of data from car users in order to create databases able to route the trip efficiently (speed of travel) and ensure road safety.
A Wave of Innovation
One interesting technological innovation, for example, comes from Arbe, which has developed a sonar or radar for vehicles, allowing for advanced mapping of the vehicle’s surroundings. Arbe is a world leader in the development of sonar for vehicles, and is close to launching an HD quality radar which is far more advanced than the competition’s, and which is able to work in the most difficult visibility conditions.
Another interesting startup mentioned by Gilad Tisona is Galooli. Galooli has developed a big data analysis system for cars for use in tracking, predicting and monitoring using big data analysis of 40 million data points every day touching on a variety of aspects: energy consumption, driver behavior pattern recognition, air pollution monitoring, hazard prevention, car status and many more advanced things that will characterize the automobile market in the not too distant future.
Only Big Data Can Solve the Traffic Problem in Israel
According to Gilad Tisona, an especially interesting startup is NoTraffic, which has developed an advanced platform for the regulation of traffic using a combination of big data collected from the communication of sensors in the vehicle and at intersections. The system is able to process all of the data uploaded to the cloud from all of the information points, thereby optimizing traffic light times in order to allow for the fastest possible flow of traffic. The company is already active in several locations in the US and has successfully reduced urban travel times by 40%.
According to Gilad Tisona, Israel cannot be expected to find a physical solution to its transportation problem: the paving of bike paths is only slowly being carried out, and doesn’t make much of a difference anyway. The construction of new interchanges doesn’t contribute to the reduction of traffic in practice. The congestion pricing fee is a “punishment” for drivers who have to sit in traffic jams, because they have no alternative solutions, such as efficient and effective public transportation. Therefore, monitoring information from vehicles and using it to efficiently route traffic may be the solution Israel needs to get out of the traffic jam it’s stuck in.