Government transportation agencies are changing the way they serve the public by offering more integrated, seamless mobility experiences end-to-end. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only brought challenges but also ushered in a new level of public-private convergence. Today, cities are evolving at a rapid pace and working diligently to create resilience against future system shocks. That’s where public-private collaboration around transformative technology can make a lasting difference.
Recently I had the chance to talk with Jeremy Goldberg, Worldwide Director of Critical Infrastructure at Microsoft, about the power and potential behind transportation and digital transformation, as part of an integrated, digital approach to cities and infrastructure overall. Governments have the unique opportunity right now for digital change, as we look to “Build Back Better” then pre-covid—and do so sustainably.
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A public service leader for 8 years across 4 cities, Jeremy has deep experience in technology policy, program architecture, partnerships and initiatives related to AI, digital services, digital transformation, connectivity, and data privacy. Talking with Jeremy underscored the importance of the role trust plays, both public and private, in the success of next-generation platforms. Microsoft and Accenture together are helping to build and restore public trust in the transportation and mobility space, with a focus on safety, sustainability, and equity.
Here are some highlights from our conversation.
An Opportunity and a Challenge
The future of mobility and transit are not only altering how people move around, they are key components of a changing urban landscape. Government transportation agencies and transit authorities share a universal commitment to protect and connect people as they drive on roads, highways, and bridges, or travel aboard buses, subways, streetcars, and rail systems. Managing these transportation systems that people rely on every day comes with great responsibility, and it's in this climate of investment that responsibility is seeing new avenues.
Many of the systems we use today were designed for a moment in time, rather than an evolving future. Done right, technology can build not only a more effective transportation network but also a more effective and transparent government—which in turn builds trust. The power of public-private partnerships can make that happen.
New Level of Collaboration
There is a convergence factor now that cannot be denied, urging partners toward the development of seamless, integrated transit systems and next-generation platforms. Our joint transport platform with Microsoft is focused on road use charging; congestion charging; and workflow/real-time maintenance. A common data environment, advanced analytics, and cloud-based platforms have the power to transform transportation networks for:
- Safer streets– Preliminary May 2021 data from the National Safety Council shows a 21% spike in roadway deaths, making safety a top priority
- Sustainability acceleration– Greener streets and net-zero pathways
- Operational efficiencies– Data from connected transportation systems informing service deployment
Technology and public-private partnerships have the ability to join up different modes of transport so the traveler experience is truly seamless, even across interchanges. It’s that interoperable data leveraging the future we are working towards.
Creating resilience against future system shocks
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Accessible, Inclusive, and Equitable
Technology can be an enabler for accessible, inclusive, and equitable transportation. Strong partnerships can allow us to build for accessibility and to make a lasting impact. This means solutions that can adapt as conditions and priorities change; building for the visually impaired; the elderly; for small business; and for families. Government should seek out partnerships with the private sector to support the development of these solutions.
The Microsoft Accenture collaboration is leading the way on integrated transportation management systems—solutions-focused; simple; flexible; scalable; and secure. Cybersecurity, especially, has a role to play here, enabling trust. The private sector is devoted to continuous learning and improvement, meaning these go-to-market strategies help governments create flexible, efficient platforms that are evolutionary in nature. A combination of flexible infrastructure and innovative partners is what can help entire systems to stay up to date and responsive.
Leading voices in Public Service
The public sector has an amazing opportunity to leverage data and analytics to transform transportation networks, and to power smarter, safer mobility for decades to come. By investing in integrated mobility platforms, governments can dramatically improve infrastructure reliability and safety; operational efficiency; workforce collaboration; and the traveler experience, all while advancing environmental sustainability. Employing the right technology and tools can help us solve the problems right in front of us, as well as the ones coming down the road—and facilitate future generations to tackle the issues we have not even thought of yet.
Learn more about how we at Accenture and Microsoft bring people and technology together to accelerate meaningful action, especially in the public sector.
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