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U Guadalajara Opens Smarter Cities Center with IBM

The University of Guadalajara in Mexico has created a Smarter Cities Exploration Center in collaboration with IBM. The center's mission will be to research infrastructure challenges faced by the city, which has a population of about four million, and other cities around the world. The initiative will attempt to identify ways to apply advances in technology to managing the core systems of major metropolitan areas, including transportation, healthcare, education, public safety, energy, and water.

One problem under investigation is commute time. The collaborators said in a statement that development of a transportation pilot could reduce the time 1.7 million vehicles spend on Guadalajara's roads during rush hour by 15 percent, decreasing carbon emissions and freeing up driver time. The objective is to increase the efficiency of commuting alternatives, including a 17-kilometer north-to-south corridor that currently takes more than an hour to traverse. The pilot will use supercomputing technology, analytics, and web services connected to mobile devices feeding updates to users.

University and IBM researchers will share intellectual property and resources. The institution has 209,000 students, one of the largest academic communities in Mexico.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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