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Data Driving New Approaches to Transportation


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Lime e-scooters being placed on the sidewalk in Santa Monica, CA.

Cities have to assure that their resources are used efficiently, and that includes the shared spaces, said Stephen Zoepf, chief of policy development at Ellis & Associates, a Silicon Valley consultancy that helps cities develop transportation technology plans.

Credit: Jenna Schoenefeld/The New York Times

Shifts in transportation highlight cities' need for data management to cope with traffic, digital platforms, and other trends.

For example, Los Angeles uses data sent from dockless electric scooters to scooter fleet owners, who have to know the vehicles' locations in order to collect them each night for charging, and reposition them for the next morning when demand peaks.

Knowing historical scooter routes also helps policymakers plan infrastructure that addresses congestion.

The open source Mobility Data Specification software platform compiles this data stream in a universally readable format.

Meanwhile, startups like Lacuna Technologies design software to support open source systems for transportation agencies, with the goal of accommodating future trends like three-dimensional traffic systems that include delivery drones and air taxis.

From The New York Times
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