Doorstepping in the North East

March 22 2015

“IoYD” – this is the Intelligent Transport Systems sector so we must have an acronym – it a concept thought up by our Head of Professional Services, Neal Skelton, four years ago and tried out in 2012 with some success. Localism in the political sense works against the best outcomes of using ITS, since these are all about seamless door to door journeys taken by well informed transport users (including freight transport), and such journeys do not respect political boundaries.

But localism in the sense that it is easier to find the time and get the permission to attend a professional event the lower the cost in time and money, is a sound principle and this is what led us to design an event where it is assumed that all the attendees will come from somewhere near. Incomers are welcome, but the core audience is local. Going back to the previous point, the talks at the event will only be local in that they may describe the use of UTMC or smart ticketing by a local authority or operator. But the knowledge and the experiences they offer up will have national relevance, as does all good quality use of ITS.

A bespoke local system will be expensive at the start and get more so as the maintenance and upgrades have to be bespoke, too, and this is why standardisation and interoperability are such key subjects in the ITS sector. A second IoYD was held this week at Newcastle University along these principles and went down very well with the 45 or so attendees, mostly from the North East as expected and hoped.

Talks were general – human factors in connected and autonomous vehicles, why relying on ordinary consumer SIMs for your wireless ITS communication needs is foolish, the constant headache of capital vs revenue funding (clue – the latter does nothing for ITS, where many systems remain operational for ten to fifteen years, or would if the lack of revenue funding didn’t put them into a sad state of gradual obsolescence), and how to construct a business case where the expenditure is incurred within the transport budget but the benefits accrue in public health, education, time savings for individuals and for businesses, and so on. But thanks to the location and the audience, many illuminating local examples were also offered and discussed.

More IoYDs will follow, and not just because we like using the acronym. If you would like to see one on your Doorstep, please let us know!

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