Monday, June 23, 2008

Industry Discussion on Platform for Real-Time Traffic Information and Dynamic Vehicle Navigation

A discussion meeting was held today to consult the industry on their views on the development of a platform for Real-Time Traffic Information and Dynamic Vehicle Navigation.

For a long time, Hong Kong has been faulted for not having commercially viable solutions for drivers and passengers alike for real-time traffic information, and for lacking also in dynamic routing and navigation data provision. However, the Government's Digital 21 Strategy has identified intelligent transport system (ITS) as a key focus area of digital citizen services to be developed.

Since I worked with industry colleagues two years ago to form a working group between members of HKITF and WTIA to push for more development in the ITS area, we have finally made some progress. A comprehensive review on the technology and service offerings in many countries was done and published, with the support of Hon Sin Chung-Kai's office.

Last year, with the support of OGCIO and Transport Department, a task force on real-time traffic information and dynamic navigation has been set up since last year to work out how a service platform can be established for Hong Kong, based on TD's Transport Information System, to be completed shortly within this year.

Will it be better to have the platform owned and operated by the Government, or by a neutral industry body? What about selecting a very small number of players to give them the rights to operate services, or allowing more open competition?

At the meeting today, I expressed my views that, first, the industry potentials are high, despite some people's concerns about the relatively low prices that consumers are likely to be willing to pay, according to some surveys. But the regional market is consolidating, and more vehicles from outside of Hong Kong will pass in and out, as more transport integration will become reality, including the bridge to Zhuhai. There are also innovative business opportunities by turning the normal user-pay model to a model that a public transport operator, or other merchants, would be willing to pay in bulk for users to access such information.

In the end, I hope the industry can provide more information to the Government to help them formulate their final position. If you have any views, or questions, on this matter, please let me know and I shall forward to the task group.

Looking back: 2006.04.06 智能運輸系統論壇


At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the not-yet-solved issues or not-yet-get-proper-deserved attentions and at the same time being accused for the not provisioning of ITS services in Hong Kong is AVLS ( Automatic Vehicle Locator Systems ) of including reliable and pervasive GPS performance in Hong Kong. Until the final version policy paper of ITS Strategy which supposes to spell out proper strategy directions and key issues ( both demand and supply sides ) is enhanced to have the hole plugged by relevant Officers of HKSAR, I have serious doubt that we could enjoy the ITS services as what are happening in our proximity region or near-by cities.

I submit a 5-pages paper to relevant agencies, including of TD and OGCIO of HKSAR during 2004/2005 as an approach framework or methodology of addressing the supply side issues. Due to need of securing the convergence, scalability and interoperability capability of the "unified" data base similar to the real time transport information repository mentioned in your blog, I have marked the paper with confidentiality which unfortunately seems to create hindrance for engagement or collaboration among stakeholders. I suppose it is quite nature to have such dilemma happened in genesis stage if we do not have Officers of handling innovation and creation.

As to the real time data repository owner or operator issues raised in your words, I think it is too early to cause concerns before its creation or building/engineering issue is settled. I imagine the best bet for getting all the issues solved is by the form of BOT ( build, operation and transfer ) if the demand side requirement specification could be delivered by relevant agency in our HKSAR Administrative.



Jonathan Wong


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