Intelligent Transport Information

Reliability of travel information is important to encourage travellers to use Public Transport. The current ‘Real Time Passenger Information’ gives estimated arrival times for buses in the network, when traffic flows are unpredictable within the city it at times gives false readings which can be a barrier to travellers using buses.

Smart Cambridge are working with the University of Cambridge to see whther we can get a more accurate and reliable bus arrival time and journey time prediction. Stagecoach have arranged through VIX technologies for a feed of the real time bus data into the University through a GTFS feed. Unfortuantley this feed cannot be made publicly avalible as the County Council do not own the real time data.

The university are storing historic data and then using ‘big data’ techniques to combine this with real time data to give more accurate predictions. Other data sources such as weather, roadworks, incidents etc can be used to inform the calculation.

The intial work will be completed by April 2016 and will inform discussions with Stagecoach, Cambridgeshire County Council and VIX technologies on how we can use the platform to give better information through the current Real Time systme and the also made avalible to developers for the development of travel applications.

Station Gateway

Recent work carried out as part of the Cambridge Stations Travel Plan has demonstrated that the provision of accurate onward travel information in a digital format is a high priority for customers usingthe station, especially for those arriving at Cambridge for the first time. The proposition outlined here, uses the opportunity afforded by the redevelopment of the station and surroundings to provide:

  • A single source point for digital onward travel information, located at the logical decision making point for new visitors to the city
  • Onward travel information for all sustainable modes (walk, cycle, bus, taxi), allowing an informed choice of method of travel, combined with information on key destinations within the city for tourism and business
  • A digital facility to reflect the image and position of Cambridge as a high-tech city.
  • Options for additional customer services to be located in the same facility – for example ATMs
    and a coffee kiosk.

Timescales – Delivery of this project is complicated by the franchise process, but the idea is that developments in databases, software and applications can proceed independently of the franchise award, through 2016.

It is recommended also that production of an outline design will assist discussions with the planning authority over the coming months, clearing the way for a formal planning application once the new franchise has started. These discussions will have to include the previous commitment to provide a piece of public art in the square, as required under the terms of the existing consent. AGA, Brookgate and the City Council will therefore need to be involved in these discussions.

We already have agreement with Brookgate that ducting and draw pits will be provided within Station Square to feed the chosen location with power and data for the facility. These will be installed during the paving works, which are due to be completed by November 2016.

Smart City Technology Platform

An outline proposal has now been developed for the implementation of a Smart City Technology Platform to support the full delivery of the Smarter Cambridgeshire work stream within the City Deal Programme.

This comprises a city management network, a data hub and sensor deployment plan and is the result of the work undertaken to create a smart architecture blueprint. A City management network will provide the connectivity layer to enable communication between traffic infrastructure such as variable message signs, traffic lights and other street furniture which will then enable small amounts of data typically from sensors to be fed into a data hub or platform.

In turn the data hub, will support the acquisition and management of diverse data sets relevant to city systems from a variety of sources, such as local and national open data repositories; data streams from both key infrastructure networks (energy, transport, water) and other relevant sensor networks ( and pollution data); satellite data; data crowd-sourced from social media or through specialised apps; and others.

This ability to combine data sets in new and different ways can then inform analytics to support intelligent planning and usage of resources across city systems. For example in relation to transportation the ability to gain new information and insights about traffic and people movement across the city, will support the development of “test-bed” pilots which will help to:

  • Ensure that transportation capacity is optimised.
  • Encourage modal shift by improving the experience of using public transport through greater use of real time information and alerting.
  • Enable greater use of dynamic modelling to understand the impact of different transport management schemes and options.

To enable the development of the platform the Smart Cambridge programme asked the ‘City Deal’ board for in-principle agreement to invest £280,000. To see the City Deal paper please follow this link

‘Internet of Things’ – Tech City launchpad project (Partnered with Thingful and 1248)

Project to implement a mechanism that allows entities to gain value from their private data by granting access to interested parties, but in a way that allows the publishing entity to retain control of their data. In addition our aim is that the system architecture proposed to implement this functionality should avoid focussing all data through a single controlling entity – for a future Internet of Things with billions or trillions of participating
devices, trying to cram even a fraction of that data through a single controlling entity is not a scalable proposition.

Autonomous Vehicles

Working with the University of Cambridge to identify opportunities for autonomous vehicles to help deliver the aims of the ‘City Deal’ in reducing congestion.

Smart Infrastructure

Over the next 15 years Greater Cambridge will see a large amount of funding invested in Infratsructure. We have an opportunity to ensure that the infratsructure that is built is ‘smart’ building in technology which can lower the costs of maintenance, allow data to be collected on traffic flows, road tempretures etc and support the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicles.


Cambridgeshire County Council bid documents for the DfT C-ITS competition: