A new article out of Information Daily reports, "Milton Keynes may see driverless cars on its roads in 12-18 months, says Geoff Snelson, Strategy Director of MK Smart, the innovation programme being run in the city. The driverless two-person pods are one of the outputs of the MK Smart programme, which is a collaboration between a number of organisations including the Open University (which is located in Milton Keynes) and BT. Central to the project is the creation of the ‘MK Data Hub’, which will support the acquisition and management of vast amounts of data relevant to city systems from a variety of data sources. As well as transport data, these will include data about energy and water consumption, data acquired through satellite technology, social and economic datasets, and crowd-sourced data from social media or specialised apps. Building on the capability provided by the MK Data Hub, the project will innovate in the areas of transport, energy and water management, tackling key demand issues."
The article continues, "One of the challenges of projects based on the 'internet of things' is the need to build collaboration with a wide range of partners. At three to four months, it is still early days. The project, however, builds on earlier ‘smart city’ work - sponsored by the Department for Business and Skills - which raised various challenges, including those around the handling of citizen data, and also how to generate business value from the new technologies, data and associated developments. If developers are to use the data to build useful applications, they need to be able to access it easily, John Davies, BT’s Head of Semantic Technology, explained. Interoperability is also an issue, he says, because there will be data hubs springing up everywhere and data users may want to combine datasets from these different sources. It will also be important to take account of consumers’ attitudes. They need to be comfortable with sharing their data; they will need know where it is going to be held, and what uses will be made of it."
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