IBM, AccessKenya develop road traffic solution

AccessKenya Group and IBM have announced a new, jointly developed road traffic solution in Kenya.

The initiative will see a public pilot programme launched this month that aims to improve the travelling experience on Kenya’s roads, starting with the capital city Nairobi. It is estimated that there are over two million cars on Nairobi’s roads with an additional 400 being added to the city’s congested roads daily. This congestion is attributed for the loss of upwards of Kes 50 million in productivity every day. 

The mobile phone service will provide drivers with live updates on traffic jams and suggest alternative, less congested routes.

AccessKenya Group has provided data on Nairobi and Mombasa traffic situations as captured on road traffic cameras since 2010, with live feeds that are freely available through  its portal http://traffic.accesskenya.com.

“We have availed our huge database of video feeds captured of on our 36 CCTV Cameras covering various strategic roads within Nairobi and Mombasa,” said Kris Senanu, Managing Director-Internet, AccessKenya Group.

Through the partnership that AccessKenya entered into with IBM Research Africa over a year ago, IBM has provided mathematical algorithms and an analytical solution that allows commuters to access data from the cameras through their mobile phones in real time and also provides suggestions on less congested roads in order to alleviate the pain around their commute.

"Cities like Nairobi stand to benefit immensely from the use of technologies to manage their transport systems more effectively. As one of Africa's grand challenges, improving human mobility across Africa through the use of intelligent and analytical technology will remain a key focus of our lab which is set to be inaugurated in coming days," said Dr. Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist, IBM Research - Africa.

“This initiative therefore drives great value to both IBM and AccessKenya Group, as a practical solution to a common problem that will benefit the driving public”, explained Senanu.

The USSD or Short code based system has undergone two development tests ahead of the public pilot which was officially launched this week. Users in Kenya can sign up for the service by dialling *384*3# on their mobile phones.

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