Vision Zero Los Angeles at Big Data Big Cities Conference in Toronto, ON
From June 12 – 15 2015, Vision Zero Los Angeles took part in the first ever “Big (Transportation) Data Big Cities” Conference in Toronto, ON, hosted by the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto. The Toronto Transportation Services Department has recently developed a data analytics group, under General Manager Stephen Buckley and led by Jesse Coleman, who put the conference together.
The days’ events focused on the growing use of “big data” in transportation departments, academia, and industry. The first day of moderated sessions primarily focused on industry’s approach to transportation data, and included presentations from companies like IBM, TomTom, Thales and Here. There was a robust back-and-forth discussion on the challenges for industry to meet the needs of the public sector.
The second day of moderated sessions included mainly public sector and academic presentations, with no one from industry in the room. This allowed for candid conversations about how transportation departments are incorporating big data analyses into their workplans, and the challenges of recruiting technical staff to the public sector.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) was represented by Jay Kim, Assistant General Manager for Mobility Management, George Chen, lead engineer of the ATSAC research team, and Nat Gale, Principal Project Coordinator in the Active Transportation Division. George presented on the history and current use of the ATSAC data, and Nat presented on Vision Zero’s assembly and analysis of collision data, as well as a few recent use cases. Overall, the conference provided an important starting point in what will be an on-going discussion on the role of cities in the big data movement. The final day involved a discussion around next steps, including the desire to develop more opportunities for knowledge-sharing and developing data standards. Stay tuned for what comes out of this group!