Israeli NGO to launch initiative eliminating road fatalities at Davos

The data trust concept aims to provide a new universally-accessible model for data sharing and provide open source solutions free to the world, but is not yet applied to the smart mobility world.

January 22, 2019 08:50
2 minute read.
Policemen keep watch ahead of inauguration of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2019.

Policemen keep watch ahead of inauguration of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2019.. (photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)


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Heads of government, business executives, civil society leaders and world-renowned academics will all gather at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting starting Tuesday in the picturesque Swiss Alpine town of Davos.

Entrusted with the ambitious objective of "improving the state of the world," the illustrious invitation-only conference will attract those striving to address the most significant challenges facing the world today.

Among those addressing the conference will be the Israel Smart Mobility Living Lab (ISMLL), a new non-profit organization launching a shared data initiative to completely eliminate road fatalities and serious injuries in the imminent smart city era.

ISMLL has partnered with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to establish the unique Smart Mobility Data Trust, a global platform for gathering and sharing smart mobility-related data to enable collaborations and joint innovations by private and public companies to ensure greater road safety.

The data trust concept, first developed by Prof. Alex "Sandy" Pentland of MIT, aims to provide a new universally-accessible model for global data sharing and provide open source solutions free to the world, but has yet to be applied to the smart mobility world.

"Our main goal is changing the way nations innovate by providing them the right platform for sharing data and promoting collaborations between the public and the private sector," ISMLL founder Dr. Smadar Itzkovich told The Jerusalem Post.

"One of the major concerns for smart cities is individual safety, especially in the smart mobility scene. While the technology for improved safety already exists, the necessary public-private partnerships to implement it are lacking."

By facilitating such partnerships, Itzkovich hopes to achieve the goal of "Vision Zero," a Swedish-developed initiative aiming to develop a road traffic system with no fatalities or serious injuries.

A consortium of leading International and Israeli technology companies, cities and academic institutions have already agreed to join ISMLL in its efforts to ensure smart transportation safety. These include General Motors Israel, NEC Israel, Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University and the Ashdod, Herzliya and Netanya municipalities. Start-ups including No Traffic, Simplex and Waycare will also join the initiative.

Itzkovich brings considerable experience in building similar collaborations after previously heading the Smart Mobility Living Lab in the southern city of Ashdod, where the city teamed up with companies including Mobileye to reduce accidents involving public transportation.

"The reason why cities struggle to implement hi-tech solutions is because it’s very difficult to build contracts with so many start-ups and private companies," said Itzkovich.

"Via our platform, cities can initiate use cases with many players in the game, be exposed to new solutions and receive important data."

ISMLL is already in discussions to bring the benefits of the data trust to select cities in Singapore, Germany, India and France.

"By using this smart data sharing platform that can really promote collaboration, you can do amazing things," said Itzkovich. "We started to do it with smart mobility, but you can do it in other areas too. Smart mobility is very strongly related to other fields, such as artificial intelligence, IOT, energy and cyber."

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