When I’m stuck in one of Silicon Valley’s many traffic jams, my frustration level rises as rapidly as my speedometer slows down. I think about how the digital synchronization of highways, vehicles and traffic lights could unclog congestion, lower pollution, eliminate delays and significantly reduce our collective frustration levels.

Just a little digital automation could go a long way to reduce not only traffic and accidents but also time, gas, smog and the costs of road and car repairs. Not to mention, helping us all attain a much more sustainable environment.

So when I’m stuck like this in traffic, whether at home or internationally, my thoughts turn to how we can get to the Last Traffic Jam.


The answer is a more connected world—or the Internet of Everything. It’s how we’ll change the way we live, work, play, and learn. This has been Cisco’s goal for 30 years, and today we have an unprecedented opportunity, along with our partners, to transform our world for the better

And that includes eliminating traffic headaches.

Studies show that for every minute spent clearing an accident from a road, there is a four-minute delay to get traffic moving again. And it’s not just delays. Today, traffic congestion costs Americans alone more than $124 billion a year. By 2030, experts predict the average American household will spend 33 percent more in traffic-related costs than today and the annual price of traffic in the United States and Europe could rise nearly 50 percent from today’s costs.

Want to know more? Here are some insights on the Last Traffic Jam.

Today, we are already connecting roadways, cars, drivers, traffic lights, parking spaces, public transportation and commercial traffic. The early results show dramatic improvement in traffic flows, fewer roadside incidents, and lower transportation costs. And one day this all will lead to the Last Traffic Jam.

This is happening by connecting disparate intelligent transportation systems to provide a centralized view of highway systems, including road conditions, traffic, construction, and transit information. Connected roadways and connected cities, are improving decision-making while reducing operating and maintenance costs.

I believe the “beginning of the end” has started. Cities around the world are getting connected.

Smart cities such as San Carlos, California, are using data solutions to analyze the arrival and departure of parked cars and, as a result, reduce traffic. Through data analysis, the city is also helping drivers find open parking. They’re working to mitigate the estimated 30 percent of traffic congestion found in city centers due to drivers searching for parking.

Barcelona, Spain, is helping residents and tourists enjoy a safer and more livable environment by connecting and synchronizing traffic lights to everything—from pedestrian traffic to open parking spaces. Visitors are safer and living in a more efficient environment.

And Hamburg, Germany, a major European port city, is connecting port operations to traffic around the city. They’re connecting the movement of ships to roads, bridges, and lights, creating a nervous system that gathers and analyzes data from around the port—all leading to improved traffic flow and environmental conditions.

The progress of the Internet of Everything is mind-boggling. From an industry perspective, it’s exciting to see the role that information technology is playing in our transformation. In fact, I firmly believe that to address the world’s social, economic and environmental challenges, information technology must become the fourth essential infrastructure, along with gas, water and electricity.

As we continue to connect more and more, the business world will continue to benefit immensely. Think of it as the last “business jam.” Organizations will drive increased productivity, deliver new revenue streams and innovations, create better customer experiences and improve asset utilization and supply chain operations.

It’s an amazing journey to be part the Internet of Everything revolution that will surely lead to The Last Traffic Jam. I am excited to see what other “lasts” are around the corner.



Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer