The shift will let the company better analyze data coming in from connected car-navigation systems.

Cubic Transportation Systems, which provides the fare collection technology for metro trains in big cities such as New York and London, is moving its traffic management system to the cloud as it seeks a way to analyze soaring volumes of data.

The company, a division of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., has signed a deal to use Microsoft Corp.’s Azure technology as the foundation of its NextTraffic offering. The company currently uses “a tapestry” of technology to collect, monitor and process traffic data for government customers, said Matt Cole, Cubic Transportation’s president.

Cubic Transportation also provides fare collection systems for London’s Oyster card and New York’s MetroCard, among others, though this deal covers the company’s traffic management business.

The shift in technology will let the company more easily increase computing processing capability to help it better analyze the flood of data coming in from everything from roadside cameras to connected car-navigation systems to sensors built into roads.

“One of the biggest challenges is how do you make the data useful,” said Bill Mitchel, senior director, World Wide Public Sector, at Microsoft.

The processing power of Azure should help Cubic’s customers manage traffic flow, altering traffic light sequences, adjusting variable speed limit signs, and rerouting using mobile messaging signs, Mr. Cole said. The shift should reduce customer computing costs by 10% or more, he said.

The company counts governments in Scotland, England, Wales and Australia as customers of its traffic management technology. Cubic has no traffic systems with the Azure technology running yet. The news of the Azure deal is expected to be announced at the Intelligent Transport Systems and Services European Congress in Glasgow on Monday.

International Business Machines Corp., Siemens AG, Cisco Systems Inc. and other tech companies are also pursuing similar smart-traffic strategies. Like Cubic, IBM, Siemens and Cisco offer technology to collect traffic data from a variety of sensors and provide analytics to help government agencies manage traffic flows.

A re-post from WSJ

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