City Analytics: the city metro gets smart

Thanks to Enel X’s City Analytics service, AMT, Genoa’s city transport company, will be able to optimise mobility in the municipal area and maximise the planning of services for citizens.

Published on 18 December 2019

Ottimizzazione della mobilità urbana per la società di trasporti AMT di Genova

How many times have you found yourself waiting for a bus, tram or metro train that seems like it’s never going to come, only to see two or three shoot past in the opposite direction one after the other? In order to study such urban flows and predict demand for services based on various conditions, the Innovability Unit at Enel X developed City Analytics. The idea was also to enrich the portfolio of e-City solutions available both to local government and to urban service companies. This platform makes it possible to plan infrastructure and services based on actual demand through the collection, analysis and processing of Big Data. This smart technology supports municipalities and local public transport operators in the organisation of city services.

The Italian project

Italy’s first City Analytics project began in July in Genoa, thanks to an agreement signed by Strategic Development Italia with AMT (“Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti,” literally, “The Mobility and Transport Company”), the company that manages the city’s public transport. The project has two main aims: the first is to analyse the use of the city’s metro (a light metro consisting of one line and eight stations), tracking the distribution of passenger flows between different stations through an origin/destination matrix in order to estimate journeys made.  The second objective is to perform a macro-analysis of traveller numbers and mobility flows at local level, taking into account the individual census areas of Genoa. The analysis begins by collecting anonymised data that is then later normalised and processed with linear regression algorithms and machine learning to produce estimates that track the profile of city mobility flows and provide a snapshot of the underground transport service in the capital of the Liguria region. This type of analysis is highly effective because it makes it possible to keep track of the demand for public services day after day, in both routine situations and during specific events, such as demonstrations or periods in which maintenance work is taking place. AMT is thus able to make decisions on how to optimise the public transport service based on actual demand, while also evaluating the effectiveness of specific actions.

How City Analytics works

City Analytics is the new solution for analysing urban flows. It was developed thanks to the innovation of Enel X for the Smart City package, our commercial offer for municipalities.

Information is collected from various sources, in full compliance with the GDPR and global best practices in terms of privacy and cybersecurity. Anonymous geo-located data from pre-existing mobile applications (collected thanks to the collaboration with certified data providers and startups selected through our Innovation Hub ecosystem) is used along with input deriving from Enel X monitoring systems installed in the city, as well as open data from local government.

Since its activation, City Analytics has processed more than 20 million pieces of data each day. The result? A detailed map of the city of Genoa and its mobility flows and a valuable insight into the use of the city metro, highlighting the most used routes, seasonally adjusted peak times as well as passenger origin and destinations. The scope is not only limited to these aspects, however, because to really understand the needs of a city, it’s also necessary to take a close look at its key locations. So, in the case of Genoa, there’s the Porto Antico that hosts Europe’s second largest aquarium but also the Ferraris soccer stadium, the oldest in Italy, and the extremely busy railway station Piazza Principe.

With City Analytics the main points of interest in the city are also analysed, providing both estimates of the number of people arriving at and departing from these sites as well as the main routes that they use to do so. This provides an insight into the origin of passengers be they inhabitants of Genoa, commuters, visitors from other municipalities in the region or from other parts of Italy.

City Analytics is an innovative solution that forms part of our range of services for the smart city, a further tool at the service of businesses and municipalities committed to encouraging the sustainable and digital development of their cities. Thanks to its collaboration with Enel X, AMT will be better able to manage and organise public transport, making rapid data-driven decisions that are optimised based on their real impact on city mobility.

Alessio Torelli

Head of Enel X Italia


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