Tech trends and business ideas

All things that motivate entrepreneurs

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Crawling out of jams

You've been driving on a busy road when traffic suddenly slows to a crawl. You inch along for many minutes while guessing what had caused the jam. Often it could even be caused by a 20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cell phone, whose reaction time could be the same as a 70-year-old driver who is not using a cell phone. It's like instantly aging a large number of drivers with that gadget.

Did you curse the cell phone ? Hang on, with some GPS tweak, it could be a blessing.

Now Tele Atlas, a Boston-based company that provides digital maps and navigational content, has integrated new trafficking software developed by Inrix, a startup based in Kirkland, WA, into its map database so that drivers can find the most optimal route based on speed rather than distance--for any stretch of road at any hour of any day of the week. So it's like having an experienced cab driver with you all the time who knows which roads to avoid to find the most time-saving route. Full story here.

Something intrigues me. The Nav system tells you where there are backups and how to go an alternate route. What if it tells everybody the same thing ?

The system will tell you there was a 3 min backup 1 km ahead but you should take the next exit to avoid it. You did as told and was immediately informed that you were not 5 km from another backup which would take 15 minutes to clear caused by rerouting traffic from the first backup. It could be messier... "take the next exit... no don't because everybody is doing that... no they've changed their minds again..." Hell would break loose.

The only way to avoid it would be for the system to anticipate the consequences of its own recommendations on users and adjust for them in advance, creating equilibrium flow.
Use cars sparingly. Get used to public transport, pool cars or hired vehicles. Globe's warming too fast already.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home