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How the Internet of Things is changing healthcare and transportation

Bruce Harpham | Sept. 9, 2015
Far from being a gimmicky way to collect more data on customers – and sell them more things – IoT technology has the power to transform industries, manage costs and deliver quality outcomes to up and down the supply chain. Here’s how two industries are doing just that.

IoT in transportation: tracking people, vehicles and infrastructure

The last major advance for transportation IT was the widespread adoption of GPS. The mobile nature of transportation systems has made traditional IT solutions and infrastructure difficult to use. Fortunately, small IoT devices with connectivity are an excellent fit for transportation. Consider these three examples for what this industry has achieved with IoT.

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). With over 100 million annual passengers in the greater Dallas area, DART is one of the largest public transit providers in the U.S. DART used Cisco IoT programs to improve fleet management (i.e., to monitor vehicles). In addition, the Dallas police department now receives better information from 1,700-plus smart cameras that provide live and recorded video. As a result, the Dallas police are able to make better use of their resources.
  • The Port of Cartegena, Colombia. Ports remain one of the world’s most important pieces of infrastructure. With fuel, consumer goods, food and many other products flowing through ports, efficiency in port operations matters. The Port of Cartegena implemented IBM’s IoT products to improve monitoring and control over shipping containers. With more than 1,000 shipping companies using the port, maintaining security is a major challenge for the port administration. IBM’s IoT provides container tracing and supports the Container Security Initiative.
  • New Jersey Transit Association (NJTA). According to U.S. Department of Transportation, over 32,000 people died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2013. Reducing the number of fatalities on the roads is a powerful reason to seek out new solutions. Recently, the NJTA brought in IBM to improve their operations. The project installed over 3,000 sensors along the New Jersey Turnpike. The data generated by these sensors allows for improved emergency services and reduces delays for drivers. The NJTA also uses a sophisticated command and control approach to make the most of this data.

These examples apply to leaders in that serve large numbers of customers or have complex facilities to manage. IoT devices and services are an excellent approach to monitor a large number of assets and environments. The benefits include improving public safety, managing large numbers of partners and improved efficiency.


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