Boston ponders app to ease traffic

Michael B. Farrell, reporting for the Boston Globe:

What’s the best way to fix Boston’s notoriously bad traffic? How about an app?

That’s what six IBM engineers worked on for three weeks this month in City Hall as part of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, which awarded Boston and 32 other cities around the world each with $400,000 worth of its technical know-how. The program helps cities find innovative answers to tough urban problems.

People have big hopes for big data. Heck, IBM and other companies—not just tech companies, either–are staking their future on it, they think it’s that promising.

I’m curious to see how the Boston experiment turns out. It’s now common for data and statistics to substitute for good ol’ fashioned time in the field. That’s in part because we’ve come to a time when things are changing so rapidly that people can’t possibly observe long enough to make sense of it all. The question is, will Big Blue and the others be up to the task?

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