Skip to main content

The volume of data around the globe is significantly increasing. 90 per cent of total global data that currently exists has been created in the last two years. Going forward, these global data are projected to increase by 40 per cent every year. In the transport sector, together with the emergence of smart transport systems, the data revolution has already been initiated. Advances in data processing and analysis now make it possible to utilize transport big data from smart transport systems for more reliable, efficient and evidence-based decision-making in transport policies and strategies for sustainable development. For example, data for traffic volumes and travel times can be easily acquired from real-time detectors and car navigation systems which belong to smart transport systems. Such obtained data can be processed in the traffic management center and used to identify marginalized groups and areas, as well as disparities of users for transport services where smart transport solutions can be applied to address.

The problem is critical data in the transport sector are mostly absent for national, subregional and regional development of transport policies and strategies. Even if there are easily obtainable data from basic smart transport systems, many governments are not aware of how to obtain and utilize necessary data. Most importantly, transport planners and policy makers do not have enough awareness, knowledge and capacity to utilize these data from smart transport systems to address social, economic and environmental issues. Given that most data can be acquired from current basic smart transport systems, the gap among member countries in terms of technological advancements is of note which will generate another gap on utilizing transport big data in the future. Without any action, this barrier will divide this region into those member countries that acquires and utilizes and those that do not. 

Moreover, current major stakeholders in the big data sector do not possess the familiarity and understanding of transport data, which has made low utilization of transport data under the big data concept. Given the significant potential of transport big data that can be generated from smart transport systems , its utilization needs to be led by relevant stakeholders that can contribute to evidence-based decision making processes. All in all, to achieve sustainable development with data-driven policy and strategy formulation in the transport sector, a broad range of transport-led actions are needed. In this regard, this guideline examines challenges and issues in deploying smart transport systems and current status of transport Big Data in Asia and the Pacific. Further, alternative solutions and recommendations for the promotion of transport Big Data-based policies are suggested together with target goals of transport Big Data utilization.