As part of its mission to bring value to the Egyptian ICT Industry by fostering collaboration between industry and academia, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has signed a contract with Wireless Stars, and Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) to fund the development of an Accurate and Reliable Traffic estimation System (ARTS).
ARTS is based on Wireless Stars Big Data Platform (Wanalytics) and E-JUST breakthrough cellular localization system, which was seed-funded by Google Inc. USA, to provide high-accuracy, scalable, and fine-grained traffic information. The system extracts traffic information from standard cell phones with no extra required hardware (GPS) or special setup (traffic camera). “We are delighted to a bring mobile technology to benefit the mass population in Egypt. With ITIDA’s support, the team will be able to scale our Big Data Platform (Wanalytics) to serve traffic information to all mobile users not only in Egypt but in the rest of the Arab World as well.” said Dr. Adel Youssef, Wireless Stars’ Chief Executive Officer. With Egypt’s population exceeding 90 million, Wanalytics is set to be the first Big Data Platform in the MENA region.
Traffic congestion is a major problem affecting the economy not only in Egypt, but in many major cities in the Arab World. According to a recent study conducted in 2010 by the World Bank, the total annual direct traffic congestion costs In the Great Cairo Metropolitan Area an estimated range of 50 billion EGP.
The proposed ARTS platform will have a profound impact on different aspects on the ICT sector providing a value-added service (VAS) to the cellular operators. Traffic situation affects all sectors of society including businesses, government, and individuals. Clearly, there is a large market demand for such an accurate service. Once available, ARTS can be the base for a number of other startups that focus on traffic analytics, including urban planning for government, fleet scheduling and tracking, direction finding and routing, among others; hence, creating new job opportunities in the ICT sector. As a cloud-based platform, ARTS can be used to solve traffic problems in other cities in the Arab World.