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Connected world

Driving smarter transport solutions

Paul Garner, Head of Future Business Technology Research Practice

The ability to connect billions of devices, extract useful data and then connect back to decision-makers - whether machine or human - represents a hugely exciting prospect for the world of business and for society at large.

It’s against this fast-moving backdrop of promise that my Internet of Things and Cloud Services research and development team carry out the work we do.

The transformation of transport is a major area of focus for us.

And that’s down to a number of drivers. For example, we recognise that there is huge pressure to reduce the amount of traffic congestion in urban areas.

At the same time, we know we need to find ways to provide more effective transport for people in rural communities including creating better mechanisms for transporting schoolchildren.

All of this is aligned with a pressing requirement to mitigate the effects of transport-created pollution and poor air quality.

All about connections

The work we are doing is all about connectivity and how we can build open and connected ecosystems that help make daily activities work more effectively.

A good example is the smart city work we have been doing in Milton Keynes over the past ten years. In fact, we are proud our R&D activities have enabled BT to become smart city pioneers in the UK.

And right now, we are working closely with collaborators such as the city council and many other industrial partners to deploy 5G mobile cellular technologies in central Milton Keynes.

Driverless cars

Our ambition is to generate vast bandwidth connectivity to be used by autonomous vehicles that can move around the city without human control.

Cloud and IT services is another area of emphasis for us. A good example of a successful R&D programme is the work we produced to boost the effectiveness of BT’s cloud networking capabilities.

We have shown how technologies like software-defined networking can help us to link cloud computing, storage and networking requirements together and become totally on-demand services for BT’s enterprise customers.

This research programme underpinned the launch of BT’s ground-breaking hybrid cloud offering in partnership with Amazon Web Services.