Understanding Every Journey in your Region: TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 Retrospective


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BT Active Intelligence, an award winning unit within BT Digital’s Data and AI Team, was established in 2020 with the aim of accelerating mobility insights based on customer behaviour and movement. Nathan Watt is leading the unit’s growth, working with BT customers from across the road and rail transport sectors to harness the power of location data from over 24 million handsets on the EE network.

Nathan’s presentation at TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 showcased how innovative insights can offer comprehensive information on multimodal journeys:

“This includes not just the routes taken, but also additional factors such as demographic details. By harnessing the power of mobile network data, we are able to provide superior quality data, a more representative sample, and ultimately, more insightful findings. Our aim is to demonstrate how this technology can enable your understanding of transportation patterns in your region”. 

Supported by Mobility Insights Technical Manager Philippe Perret, Nathan subsequently hosted roundtable discussions with each table of delegates, delving deeper into the role crowd-based intelligence can play in improving the efficiency of transportation systems, enhancing the passenger experience and enabling key stakeholders (e.g. public transport operators, local authorities, sub-national transport bodies, highways authorities etc) to understand each and every journey.

Presentation highlights:

  • EE Network Handset Location Data – The largest 4G and 5G mobile network in the UK; 24 million+ mobile customers, representing over 1/3 of the UK adult population; 24/7 dynamic data; Capturing 10 billion+ daily data events;
  • “Better data, better sample, better insights” – Location accuracy and large, consistent, “unbiased” samples vs small, inconsistent, “biased” samples;
  • Grid Based Allocation – When devices are geolocated, signal information from more than one cell tower is used to locate devices to 50 x 50m grid squares; Traditional MND example (with cells covering multiple London highstreets and train stations); GeoMND example (with density rightly concentrated across major roads etc);
  • Enhanced Volume of Data Events – New geolocation platform addresses the two major issues with traditional mobile network data through improved granularity and witnessing more data events; Euston to Watford stats at device level: Comparison of location data points received on network during train journey – Traditional MND = 2.2 data events per user, GeoMND = 62 data events per user;
  • The Needs of the Transport Environment are Changing – Multimodal; Consider the whole journey; More infrequent and variable patterns; Journey to Net Zero; Accessibility of the data. Beneficial if: Mode agnostic; Data always on (not just capturing specific journeys); Data readily accessible (i.e. “on-demand”); Journey purpose determined;

  • Road Insights – EV%;
  • Insights on Multimodal Journeys:
  • Understanding how far people travel to get to stations – Average distance travelled on a leg of a journey before a rail leg;
  • Do people always use their closest stations?
  • Uncovering localised patterns in North Warwickshire and Coventry – Detecting and monitoring behaviour change at the local level;
  • Understanding the impact of diversion routes;
  • Use Cases for the Data – Managing the road network; Disruption and event management; Policy setting; Planning for long term infrastructure; Managing the full customer journey; Service improvement; Proactive plan for events etc

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us in Coventry on November 22nd for the live in-person event at Drapers’ Hall, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Nathan’s initial presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023

On November 22nd we will be casting a spotlight over Central England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the burgeoning city-regions of the West and East Midlands, and beyond.


   Coventry, UK

Sponsored by
BT Active Intelligence
Marston Holdings

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