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15 May 2019

Linux forms foundation to improve mobility

The Linux Foundation has formed the Urban Computing Foundation to allow companies like Google and Uber to collaborate on open source software to improve mobility.

Linux, a non-profit organisation, says the software can also be used to improve safety, traffic congestion and energy consumption in connected cities.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux, says: “The Urban Computing Foundation is poised to provide the compatibility tools and resources for developers to create software that can map out and operate technology services in any given urban area, ensuring safety and equitable access to transportation.”

According to Linux, urban computing is emerging as an important field for bridging the divide between engineering, visualisation and traditional transportation system analysis.

The foundation is setting itself up as a neutral forum for this work, including the adaption of geospatial and temporal machine learning techniques and urban environments and simulation methodologies.

The first project hosted at the foundation is Kepler.gl, an open source geospatial analysis tool created by Uber for building large-scale data sets. The solution is used by developers, data scientists, visualisation specialists and engineers explore and analyse a variety of scenarios that include transportation patterns and safety trends, Linux adds.

Travis Gorkin, Uber data visualisation lead, says: “Technologies like Kepler.gl have the capacity to advance urban planning by helping policymakers and local governments gain critical insights and better understand data about their cities.”

Other contributors involved in the foundation include Facebook, IBM, Here Technologies, Interline Technologies, Senseable City Labs, StreetCred Labs and University of California San Diego.

The Foundation will use an open governance model being developed by the Technical Advisory Council (TAC), which includes a variety of technical and IP stakeholders in the urban computing space.

TAC contributors include:

•    Drew Dara-Abrams, principal, Interline Technologies
•    Oliver Fink, director Here XYZ, Here Technologies
•    Travis Gorkin, engineering manager of data visualization, Uber
•    Shan He, project leader of Kepler.gl, Uber
•    Randy Meech, CEO, StreetCred Labs
•    Michal Migurski, engineering manager of spatial computing, Facebook
•    Drishtie Patel, product manager of maps, Facebook
•    Paolo Santi, senior researcher, MIT
•    Max Sills, attorney, Google

To contribute to this work, please visit the Urban Computing Foundation website

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