As the global population becomes increasingly urbanised, cities grow more congested. As a consequence, the travel behaviour and transport preferences of city dwellers are changing. Transport researchers and policymakers are therefore faced with numerous challenges as they strive to create efficient, safe and sustainable transportation systems.
In order to address these issues, the EU-funded project LeMO has been launched to explore the opportunities provided by Big Data in the field of transport research. It will be investigating the implications of using Big Data to enhance the European transport sector’s economic sustainability and competitiveness. Big Data applications in the transport sector have received a lot of interest at national and EU level, both for their potential to drive future economic growth and because of the data privacy concerns surrounding them. Big Data will be analysed mainly with respect to five aspects of transport: mode (air, rail, road, urban, water and multimodal), sector (passenger and freight), technology, policy, and evaluation (long-term perspectives and economic, environmental and social impacts).
As part of initial investigations conducted during the first phase of the project, LeMO partners have published a comprehensive report on Big Data policies in transport
. The report takes a look at current private- and public-sector policies adopted to further agendas on Big Data in the transport sector. There are public policies implemented in the EU, its Member States and internationally that support or restrict access to, linking and (re)use of Big Data. According to the report, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation may limit Big Data uptake in the transport sector. In contrast, current national transport policies and initiatives that facilitate (non-personal) Big Data sharing and (re)use indicate that countries throughout the EU and abroad are focusing their efforts on intelligent transport systems, open data, automated driving and smart mobility.
While the planning, building and management of transport infrastructure may be the remit of public authorities, transport activities are usually carried out by private companies and individuals. The report describes Big Data policies adopted or promoted in the private sector in light of developments in national policies. Descriptions and examples are provided with regard to railway and airport operators, real-time road traffic management systems, supply chain management systems, port operations management, and connected and automated vehicles.
The Big Data policies report serves as a springboard for the next phase of LeMO (Leveraging Big Data to Manage Transport Operations). It will be investigating how existing policies affect the economic, political, social and legal environment for government and private agencies in the transport sector. According to the authors of the report, this is an essential step for the development of a policy roadmap that will foster the growth of Big Data in transport.
For more information, please see:LeMO project website