Tag Archives: Communications

Building Next-Gen ITS for “Big Data” Value

29 May

A lot has been written about “big data” lately.  The rapid growth of varying data sources coupled with

 the enhanced density in data sources is establishing  a huge resource for transportation operators.  The rapid proliferation of data sources from new devices such as smartphones and other newly connected devices, in conjunction with the advancement of technologies for data collection and management have manifested a sizeable inflection point in the availability of data.  So what does this mean for ITS operators and the systems they currently manage?  What will be required to extract and leverage values associated with “big data”?

At First Glance

Federal regulations for performance measures and real-time monitoring associated with MAP-21 and 23 CFR 511 have implemented a framework for the increased need of new, refined data and information systems.  System enhancements will require improvements to existing networks and communications systems in order to optimize data and metadata flows between data sources and central applications. Robust central network equipment, including L3 switches, servers and storage will also be required.  Enhanced security measures  associated with new data sources and big data values will also need to be reviewed and attended to.  New central data warehouse infrastructure will also be required, including new database applications (such as Hadoop), that are capable of managing “big data” and the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

Deeper Dive

A closer look reveals additional layers of change required in order to begin abstracting value from the new data sources.  “Big data” will also require somewhat less obvious changes in the way transportation agencies currently do business.

Increased Data Management and Analytics Expertise –  The new data paradigm will require new staff skills, most notably, experience in data analytics (Quants).  Staff skills will not only require knowledge of the data available now or potentially available in the near term, but also understand transportation systems in order to apply the most beneficial data mining tactics available.  The new role must not only be aware of current data and information needs and values, but also be cognizant of what is capable, and potential hidden values currently unrealized or unknown by an operating agency.  The new role will also be an integral part of the development of embedded system features and be able to identify nuances in data meaning, as well as establish effective predictive analytics.

Policy and Digital Governance –  New data sources are also giving rise to discussion regarding privacy and liability.  Data sourced from private entities will always contend with privacy fears and concerns, at least for the near term, although recent analysis is showing a steady lessoning of those fears as “digital natives” begin to represent a greater percentage of the traveling public.  Data generated from sources outside of transportation agencies, but utilized by transportation agencies  for systems operations, can lead one to question who is responsible should data errors occur that might affect a system.

Networks and Communications – Data sources, formats and general data management practices will need extensive review of existing conditions. What values are attained from real-time, or near real-time collection from subsequent analytics, as well as determining what data is less time dependent.  Existing formats and protocols should also be included in the mapping exercise. For example, CV will require a mandatory upgrade of IP protocols from IPv4 to IPv6.  General planning regarding the utilization of “the cloud” need to be weighed for benefit-cost.  Third-party data brokers and other outsourcing alternatives such as cloud computing need to also be assessed.

Data Management and Analysis Tools – Operating entities also need to look at implementing data management tools (applications) that will assist in extracting value from large data sets.  These tools  should be integrated with core systems, and provide real-time metrics of collected data.  The tools should also provide the ability for “Cloud collaboration”, in order to process data stored by third parties, or general data stored in the cloud.

Wisdom Knowledge Information Data Pyramid

What to do

Transportation budgets are as tight as ever. How can operating agencies begin to make incremental steps towards the goal of realizing benefits associated with “big data”?  The first step is to begin now.  Start by mapping existing data sources to existing data management technologies, policies and processes, from end to end.  Also, widen your perspective and begin to look at possible benefits from a wide array of new data sources.  In addition, “open” it up, and benefit from the wisdom of the crowd.  New analytics skill sets should be considered a condition of certain new hires in the transportation and ITS planning departments.  A staff member should be designated for leading the way with decisions regarding “big data”, relationships with third party data brokers, cloud management, as well as be responsible for implementing an agile framework for next-gen data systems.

References and Resources

Developing a Data Management Program for Next-Gen ITS: A Primer for Mobility Managers

Big Data and Transport

TransDec: Big Data for Transportation

Update from the Data Liberation Front                                          

Source: http://terranautix.com/2014/05/28/building-next-gen-its-for-big-data-value

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Intel Touts New Ultra-High-Speed Wireless Data Technology

27 Feb

Small base stations could achieve huge data capacity increases using Intel’s modular antenna arrays.

Intel says it has prototyped a chip-based antenna array that can sit in a milk-carton-sized cellular base station. The technology could turbocharge future wireless networks by using ultrahigh frequencies.

Intel’s technology, known as a millimeter wave modular antenna array, is expected to be demonstrated today at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, says Ali Sadri, director of the millimeter wave standards and advanced technology group at Intel.

Any one such cell could send and receive data at speeds of more than a gigabit per second over up to few hundred meters—and far more at shorter distances—compared to about 75 megabits per second for the latest standard, known as 4G LTE.

For mobile cellular communications, both the Intel and Samsung technologies could eventually use frequencies of 28 or 39 gigahertz or higher. These frequencies are known as millimeter wave and carry far more data than those used in cellular networks today. But they are easily blocked by objects in the environment—and even water droplets in the air. So they’ve traditionally been seen as impractical for mobile devices.

To get around the blockage problem, processors dynamically shape how a signal is combined among 64, 128, or even more antenna elements, controlling the direction in which a beam is sent from each antenna array, making changes on the fly in response to changing conditions.

Several groups are working on such antenna arrays, but Intel says its version is more efficient. “We can scale up the number of modular arrays as high as practical to increase transmission and reception sensitivity. The barrier is only regulatory issues, not technological ones,” Sadri says.

A major problem is finding a way to get so many antennas into a mobile device. The NYU technology used a benchtop gadget hauled around the sidewalks of Manhattan for testing. It steers beams mechanically toward intended users. The Intel chip does the same thing by shaping the direction of the signal electronically, and is now packaged in a gadget smaller than a shoebox.

A number of companies are betting next-generation wireless technologies will need to use millimeter wave links to deliver all the data people want. The European Commission, for example, last year launched a $1.8 billion 5G research effort to help develop this and other technologies.

 

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/524961/intel-touts-new-ultra-high-speed-wireless-data-technology/

The Use of Cellular Wireless Communications in Support of Dedicated Short Range Communications for the Connected Vehicle

15 Feb

I originally investigated the potential synergies and resultant barriers and challenges for integrating public/commercial grade wireless communications in support of the “Connected Vehicle”, back in 2007. (then known as “Intellidrive”)  A brief summary of the initial findings and a proposed architecture was presented in a blog post in August, 2011.  Since the initial posting, the Connected Vehicle ecosystem has started to take shape and is gaining significant momentum on multiple fronts, including the automotive and telecommunications industries, as well as the Federal Government.  As a result,  I thought it might be of some value to revisit and update the hybrid communications framework originally proposed for the Connected Vehicle.

DSRC-Cell_DiagramCurrent Values

The primary attractiveness of commercial cellular continues to be maturity of technology and network coverage, including for most major urban areas, suburban areas and even significant coverage of rural areas.  Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) is currently limited to approximately 1200 feet, line of sight, and will require significant investment in new infrastructure. Commercial wireless and Wi-Fi technologies continue to show promise for providing secondary, tier-two services associated with the Connected Vehicle.

Current Barriers and Limitations

Substantial limitations still remain. The prevailing barrier is communications latency with regards to minimum requirements associated with V2V and V2I. In addition, commercial cellular networks remain vulnerable to network congestion issues (peak periods), including denial of service and dropped calls.    Also, cost remains a significant hinderance, as the Federal Government has taken the stance that automotive safety should be free to the end-user.

Source: http://terranautix.com/2013/02/13/the-use-of-cellular-wireless-communications-in-support-of-dedicated-short-range-communications-for-the-connected-vehicle/

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