Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Powerful Tool Crunches Commutes

10.03.2005


Websites for commuters are nothing new, but researchers in Sunnyvale, Calif., have developed an advanced system with a twist: in addition to tracking traffic congestion, the program crunches data from 14,000 sensors, in some cases every 30 seconds, to decipher evolving rush-hour patterns.



The end result is http://www.BeatTheTraffic.com, a tool that tells commuters how long they can expect to sit in their cars, which shortcuts will get them home faster that day, and even the best time to leave the home or office.

Tied to a statistical database that tracks how traffic conditions develop—over the course of a "rush hour," for example—the software suggests a commute based on congestion that may arise, not traffic status at the time of departure. Based on such statistics, the researchers have found that many commuters can save more time by altering their departure time than they would using mass transit.


Already in use in Ariz., Alaska, Calif., Ga., Ill., Wash., Minn. and Wis., http://www.BeatTheTraffic.com is user-tailored down to the scale of individual roads--a result of the vast, yet disparate, government data sources.

Developed by Triangle Software with the support of NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the tool is currently serving about 35,000 commuters, with the potential to help millions through coordination with local news media.

"By providing personalized traffic information on any number of routes or alternate routes straight to mobile phones or other text messaging devices, we try to save users time and aggravation," said Andre Gueziec, lead researcher on the project.

The website interface includes a base map of all roads, with average traffic speed and any obstacles—such as accidents or construction—mapped to each of 32,000,000 road segments. The software feeds this data to the routing engine, which can toggle travel options to find the quickest possible trip under real-time conditions.

Routes are personalized, so a user can continually track status on a number of regular paths, such as “home to grocery” or “office to gym,” all of which are continuously recomputed to reflect new problems that may arise.

The researchers are close to releasing a new application that may eventually combine the accumulating road data with weather and holiday traffic information to generate seven-day forecasts for travel. The tool is particularly useful for travelers heading out of town, or those pondering relocation who want to better gauge their new commute before making the decision to move.

"BeatTheTraffic.com is better at exploiting live traffic data from transportation departments and law enforcement than any previous system,” says Gueziec. “The site works similarly to a real-time ‘Google,’” he adds, “finding specialized data for road conditions amidst a rapidly changing map.”

The improvements are driven by a number of new developments, including the developers’ powerful database-driven personalization engine, flexible routing engine, and efficient archiving and retrieval system.

The system already sends a text message to cell phones and other wireless devices when a route is experiencing a substantial delay, and the researchers are now exploring ways to integrate this function with car navigation systems.

NSF SBIR Phase II Award: Animated Real-Time Road Traffic Visualization for Broadcast and the Internet: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0349460

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.47 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.BeatTheTraffic.com
http://www.nsf.gov

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next stop Morocco: EU partners test innovative space robotics technologies in the Sahara desert
09.11.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht A burst of ”synchronous” light
08.11.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>