The International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation East Africa is developing a mobile traffic management system that will make use of mobile phone signals. This will enable commutters and motorists avoid traffic snarl ups by using alternative routes. The phone signals will be generated from mobile devices of those holed up in traffic, where the system will then relay real time information on the traffic situation to motorists and traffic police.
On Monday 13th August 2012, the government announced its partnership with IBM East Africa. The partnership will result to the first IBM research lab in Kenya and Africa at large. The lab, which is expected to create numerous employment opportunities for the youth is will contribute towards the growth in mobile money technology, creation of high value jobs and drive innovation while helping the country become a leading modern services economy. It will be IBM’s 12th global laboratory in the after those in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland and the US.
The Business Daily reports that under the agreement, the government will contribute USD 2 million (KES 169 million) for the next five years, while IBM will provide the hardware, software and high-end scientific expertise. The governments’s contribution will be spent on utility bills as well as paying up local researchers.
The facility will be operational by september.