Transport for Wales working on AI and big data-driven bus network as part of pilot scheme
Transport for Wales are working on a bus network that will be driven by AI and big data as part of a pilot scheme.
They have teamed up with CitySwift, an Irish company that supplies data on the transport network, optimises bus timetables based on journey times and passenger demand, and gives drivers and passengers information and bus capacity.
Transport for Wales said they hope the changes would encourage more people to use public transport rather than cars, and in so doing reduce congestion and emissions in towns and cities.
The CEOs of Transport for Wales and City Swift attended the 36th British-Irish Council Summit in Cardiff with Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin, and the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “Our partnership with CitySwift will allow Welsh bus operators to use modern AI technology to gather data, understand new travel patterns and make more informed data-driven decisions.
“This pilot scheme will help us improve bus services for the people of Wales and will assist us in encouraging people to make that modal shift from using private cars to sustainable public transport which is key to tackling climate change.”
Brian O’Rourke, CitySwift CEO said that as the pandemic eased there was a lot to learn from big data about changing trends and how best to plan and shape bus services.
“Transport for Wales is taking a positive step by embracing data and AI in a smart, innovative way to improve journey times, reliability and enhance the on-board experience for passengers,” he said.
Mark Drakeford said that the Welsh Government had set a target for 45% of journeys to be made by sustainable modes by 2040.
“It is great to see that technology and data is being used to develop efficiencies and growth in this sector,” he said.
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AIs and “big data” don’t work – take it from me, I’m in IT. It’s a ruse generated to sell impossible projects and snapped up by gullible politicians because it sounds good and, of course, means they can blame “the computer” when things go wrong.
How do you get big data for the many places in Wales that don’t have a bus service and haven’t had one for years?
How about, instead of *big* data, we have a *moderately sized* railway network instead of the *threadbare* one our overlords have deigned to provide for us?