The Next Operating System (OS) is the underlying technology that allows people to connect to transportation services and for transportation operators the manage roads and transit services in real time. An anchor of the 5 Big Moves, the Next OS connects the entire transportation system. It is a digital platform that collects and communicates information from sources like passenger vehicles, delivery trucks, e-bikes, and scooters into a centralized data hub. Analysis of this data will improve how transportation is planned, operated, and experienced.
With the implementation of Next OS, transportation operators can better manage supply and demand by modifying how infrastructure and services are being used throughout the day. For example, travel lanes on Complete Corridors can be dedicated to different uses or modes at different times of day depending on traffic levels; transit services can become more responsive and scale to current passenger demand; and different numbers and types of transit vehicles can be deployed as needed to serve specific areas. The result will be a modernized transportation system with roads and transit services that operate smoothly and serve people better.
Next OS also provides individuals with timely and accurate information about travel options so they can make more informed decisions about the best modes or routes to use. Applications and interactive kiosks can then be used to browse, book, and pay for any mobility service.
How could the San Diego region benefit?
Next OS creates an integrated platform to serve the needs of users that span government, operators, residents, and businesses. The benefits of Next OS are categorized into themes:
- Customer experience: Travelers benefit from real-time information. The ability to seamlessly plan, book, pay for, and receive rewards for trips across multiple public and private modes of transportation
- Visibility: Enhanced data management and analytics allow for more informed and responsive planning and decision-making about public infrastructure investments
- Optimization: Advanced analytics, combined with user incentives and engagement, balance supply and demand across modes and services
- Collaboration: Streamlined collaboration and operations across agencies and mobility service providers (public and private) make operations more efficient and provide a smooth transportation experience for all people and goods
- Equity: Through partnerships, Next OS can help improve equitable access to a wide range of transportation services throughout the region
- Cost reduction: Centralizing operations will lead to reduced costs, as well as the ability to roll out services faster and easier across agencies. Better access to a wide range of public and private transportation services also can reduce transportation costs for users
How can we ensure equity in Next OS?
Internet access has become critical to our livelihood, and broadband (high-speed internet access) remains crucial to the success of the Next OS. To ensure everyone in the region can fully benefit from Next OS technology advancements, work needs to be done to close the digital divide. The digital divide refers to a growing gap between the individuals who do not have reliable access to high-speed internet and those who do.
The crucial role in closing the digital divide for the San Diego region would achieve the telework goals identified within the Regional Plan, and for improving personal mobility, transportation operations, and safety. SANDAG has formed a Regional Digital Divide Taskforce to aid in the development of a Regional Digital Equity Strategy and Action Plan which is a first step toward the successful implementation of the Next OS.
What are industry experts saying about Next OS?
In 2019, SANDAG hosted a webinar with Scott Corwin of Deloitte and Mandy Bishop of Smart Columbus. View the webinar recording to explore how the Next OS will turn data into actionable information for transportation operators and travelers. Through conversations like this to gather input from regional and local transportation planners, as well as private sector stakeholders, the Next OS concept was solidified for incorporation in the 2021 Regional Plan.