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Mobile Phones to Monitor Traffic Congestion

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the backup-on-the-i-five-headed-south dept.

89

shas3n writes "In an interesting and innovative way Bangalore city, India, has come up with a way to monitor road traffic congestion by monitoring the density of mobile phones. This can give users quantitative and directional information of traffic flow without significant additional infrastructure investments. The congestion data is already available online."

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Dupe GOTO 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426621)

Isn't this something like the seventh time this has been covered on slashdot?

Re:Dupe GOTO 10 (2, Informative)

peterpi (585134) | about 7 years ago | (#20426727)

Re:Dupe GOTO 10 (1, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | about 7 years ago | (#20426841)

My Company is Please to offer you outsourced Services in the Area of Mobile Traffics Monitoring.

We are first with many happy clients in this Competitive Technology Area.

Re:Dupe GOTO 10 (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | about 7 years ago | (#20426887)

I knew I saw this back in around 2000/2001. Talk about a dupe...news of another city deploying GPSs, or tower tracking, in phones for traffic monitoring has made slashdot almost every year since the first NextTel phones had GPSs in them.

Re:Dupe GOTO 10 (1)

Cillian (1003268) | about 7 years ago | (#20429795)

My hobby: Standing by fast moving roads, talking on a cell phone.

I've been using my mobile phone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426639)

to monitor Cory Doctorow's stupid, stupid haircut.
Current Status: still stupid.

Infinite Loop (1)

dotslashdot (694478) | about 7 years ago | (#20426643)

Unfortunately, the way they monitor traffic congestion is to send out a bunch of people to go see what the traffic congestion is, thereby adding to the traffic congestion. :)

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

svendsen (1029716) | about 7 years ago | (#20426671)

Don't they have cameras on most freeways? You'd think they got have a computer analyze the video to determine car speed, traffic, etc.

Sensors (0)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | about 7 years ago | (#20426787)

More likely sub-roadway pressure or magnetic sensors

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

sphealey (2855) | about 7 years ago | (#20426853)

> Don't they have cameras on most freeways? You'd think
> they got have a computer analyze the video to determine
> car speed, traffic, etc.

They do. At least in my city they have camera-analysis, ultrasonic, and magnetic loop traffic sensors. The last 5 years I have noticed the system has actually started to work (as compared to when they first put these in back in the 1980s), but IMHO a GPS system would be better (and/or a very good supplement) and would automatically give updates on alternate routes (and many more routes) than the fixed sensors.

sPh

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

dashslotter (1093743) | about 7 years ago | (#20427169)

I'd rather have the cellular data. Thousand of individual data points reporting their location vs. a device that captures/analyzes traffic data.

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | about 7 years ago | (#20426685)

I wonder if what you just said could be a metaphor for the observer of a system changing the state?

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 7 years ago | (#20426803)

I wouldn't say it's a metaphor.

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | about 7 years ago | (#20426913)

You're right - I just want to use something other than an analogy for once! ;)

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 7 years ago | (#20427055)

Well, I was saying that it's not a metaphor because it isn't like an observer changing the state of a system, it's actually an observer changing the state of a system. But, maybe you could say something like, "When Amy stared, she changed everything about him, like a bunch of Indians driving around with cell phones to detect traffic flow."

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

COMON$ (806135) | about 7 years ago | (#20427245)

wouldn't that make it a simile then?

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 7 years ago | (#20427457)

Shit, you're right. I got those switch around like a me, getting a simile and a metaphor mixed up on Slashdot.

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | about 7 years ago | (#20427535)

Meh, it involves cars and technology, isn't that all that matters?

Re:Infinite Loop (2, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | about 7 years ago | (#20427739)

Thats ok, I just used my technical reference [wiu.edu] .

Re:Infinite Loop (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 7 years ago | (#20429311)

It's ok, don't worry about it. Similes are kind of like metaphors. Metaphors are the similes of analogies.

Re:Infinite Loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427257)

But, maybe you could say something like, "When Amy stared, she changed everything about him, like a bunch of Indians driving around with cell phones to detect traffic flow."

That is a simile within a simile. Similes use like or as, metaphors do not.

Houses by the roadside? (2, Interesting)

DrDevil (90608) | about 7 years ago | (#20426649)

They need to be careful because a number of people could live along side the road and the number of people at home will change throughout the day. As these people are not mobile, and the people change during the day, it is difficult to discern stopped traffic from people watching the television.

I'd be interested to see if they have addressed these problems and if so, how.

Re:Houses by the roadside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427103)

Well I'm going to have a few big screens and chairs or even a concert on the side of a big hwy. That way it messes up all there data! People just standing around close by each other.

Re:Houses by the roadside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427805)

"Hey boss, I need the street widened in front of my house, is it ok if I store excess company cellphones at my house for a while?" "OK son, I have filled your wagon up with borrowed cell phones, pull it up and down the sidewalk for a while each day please."

Door gets busted down, DEA agents and local SWAT rushes in and starts dismantling house looking for the drugs that MUST BE IN THIS HEAVILY TRAFFICED HOUSE. Owner looks to see if they appear to be carrying cell phones or not. Finding the wagon load of cell phones they arrest the owner for terrorism instead. Home owner: "I always wanted to visit Cuba but,,,,"

Re:Houses by the roadside? (1)

AndrewM1 (648443) | about 7 years ago | (#20430529)

Good point. Even in areas of great reception, Cell-based location techniques are generally off by a few hundred meters - easily enough for people in homes and pedestrians to make it seem like an enormous traffic jam. Assisted GPS (using a GPS to find the cell phone, rather than just a cell-based approach) would probably be able to tell if they're on the road or off, but in areas of high building A-GPS has a tendency to not work. So, it would work great in areas of less development, but downtown (where traffic data is more needed) it would suck. Also, A-GPS is mandated in the US (for 911 service) but I don't know what the percentage of cell phones in Bangalore would have inbuilt GPSs...

Re:Houses by the roadside? (1)

scolbert (1122737) | about 7 years ago | (#20430707)

I agree. This whole idea seems nuts. Better solutions can be found. Check oout SpeedInfo.com for example. There is something to say for cars blipping off data. My friend works for Booze and they are involved in a US government project where data from cars is sent up via WiMAX. Speed, position, and other non-obvious stuff, like are the wipers running and if so at what speed (to determine if its raining).

I for one will be sticking with the lamo traffic my iPhone [personafile.com] gives me with Google maps. NOT!

Sammy.

Re:Houses by the roadside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20431677)

Couldn't the just calculate some kind of 'background noise' value for the usual number of mobiles in a cell and recognise jams by seeing how different the current number is?

Easier Way To Monitor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426653)

Just use your nose. The stench of curry and body odor will just get stronger as you get near congested crowds.

It's true, you don't need technology, just your olfactory senses.

Umm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426661)

Thats not innovative and they sure didnt come up with that. I've read on slashdot many times about using cell phones to detect traffic jams.

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/19/14 3247 [slashdot.org]

Re:Umm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426795)

Privacy (1)

hey (83763) | about 7 years ago | (#20426663)

Luckily there are no privacy issues in showing where individual cell phones are!

Re:Privacy (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 years ago | (#20427037)

Luckily there are no privacy issues in showing where individual cell phones are!
Good this this doesn't do that.

Cameras? (1)

AdamTrace (255409) | about 7 years ago | (#20426675)

Strategically placed cameras is probably a better idea.

But why use a simple solution when there's a perfectly good complicated solution to try?

Re:Cameras? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 7 years ago | (#20427133)

How is this more complicated than Installing Cameras, finding a way to get the signal back to the "main office" either via new cables, or wi-fi, or some other infrastructure that would need to be put into place, having someone monitor all these cameras, or having software do all the monitoring and counting to give some data? The Cell Towers are already there. The data is already there.

They used existing data with existing infrastructure and a bit of logic to implement a solution that does not cost as much in maintenance and installation, and provides the needed information!! If only our government would be so good with our money!

Re:Cameras? (1)

StickyWidget (741415) | about 7 years ago | (#20427139)

Cause the infrastructure that supports cameras is more expensive than the existing (and planned to be expanded) wireless infrastructure. Just a few costs associated with cameras:

1. Running power to the pole
2. Running communications to the pole (can't be overcome by wireless, because bandwidth is needed for all those images)
3. Construction costs (putting a pole in the ground costs WHAT?!?!)
4. Union Labor (more of an issue in the States)
5. Cost of Camera, pole, box, power supply, wiring, maintenance

Now, let's compare that to using cellphones:

1. Tapping cell phone area database to make queries about how many cars are in an area. (This is EASY)
2. ... Uh beer to celebrate bringing traffic data without incurring a huge capital cost?

If the information exists (and it does), it is much easier to simply use the information at hand rather than develop a camera network. Unless you sell cameras of course, then I guess it would be a good idea to you. So, in conclusion, they are doing exactly what you wanted them to do... "But why use a simple solution when there's a perfectly good complicated solution to try?". The complicated solution is the cameras.

~Sticky
/ Do you sell cameras?

Trafficmaster does it (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 7 years ago | (#20428145)

Those blue "cameras" about the size of a shoebox on a pole with a little aerial, usually one pointing each way, are Trafficmaster cameras. They work in a fairly ingenious way. There's a camera that identifies only the middle few digits of a number plate (solving CPU horsepower and privacy concerns by simply not bothering to read a whole plate), and transmits that back to a central point along with the vehicle speed and a timestamp. The next camera to spot the plate transmits back the data and the timestamp, and the system can work out a map of vehicle speeds across a given stretch of road.

Note that for various legal reasons, the camera isn't allowed to record or identify an image of the car, or the full numberplate, and also for legal reasons the data can't be used for law enforcement. The US doesn't really have anything like the UK's Data Protection Act, which would make attempting to retain data from these an expensive legal minefield.

Speed sensors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427667)

Around Milwaukee Wisconsin we have those magnetic field loops embedded in the pavement. When a vehicle passes over several of these in a row, the speed can be estimated for all traffic in the lane.

Re:Cameras? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 7 years ago | (#20429251)

But why use a simple solution when there's a perfectly good complicated solution to try?
No reason at all. Complicated solutions are fun!

Uhmmm... (3, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | about 7 years ago | (#20426679)

...shut up and drive?

Just a thought.

Re:Uhmmm... (3, Insightful)

Fx.Dr (915071) | about 7 years ago | (#20426723)

My thoughts exactly. Isn't this some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy?

1) Moron talks on his cell
2) Gets into accident
3) ???
4) Congestion!

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | about 7 years ago | (#20426753)

I agree with your sentiment in regards to hand-held communicators - but I believe that a headset is less distracting and in fact might slow drivers down. This has happened for me, I am in a good conversation and I find that my speed has decreased and that I am a more stable element in the system as a result.

It is my thought that the reason cell phone usage is associated with collisions is because the driver is literally juggling the handset. It is the fact that the driver is being physically overloaded by manipulating a clumsy device.

After all, I have no recollection of mere conversation being considered an undue safety risk in regards to driving.

Arguments, perhaps, but mere conversation? I think a good chat may actually help individuals stay awake and more alert.

Just my thoughts.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 years ago | (#20426957)

I agree with your sentiment in regards to hand-held communicators - but I believe that a headset is less distracting and in fact might slow drivers down.

Hands free or hand held makes little [wired.com] difference [cars.com] .

This has happened for me, I am in a good conversation and I find that my speed has decreased and that I am a more stable element in the system as a result.

When most traffic is going 65, and you're tooling along at 50 because you're too engrossed in your phone call, you're more unpredictable.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | about 7 years ago | (#20427093)

Why does the fact that the conversation is on a phone make a difference?

If it is mere conversation (not the phone) that is the safety risk, which is evidently is the case, then would this not indicate that carpools are as much a safety concern as cell phones?

Re:Uhmmm... (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 years ago | (#20427167)

Why does the fact that the conversation is on a phone make a difference?

Because the focus of your conversation is outside the vehicle. Add in the generally crappy nature of a cellphone signal, and your brain is really, really concentrating on something other than actually piloting the vehicle.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 years ago | (#20428015)

I have seen several studies that compare talking on a cell phone to driving at .08 BAC (blood alcohol level). All of these studies have also compared various hands free devices and handsets. None of them have shown any difference between conversations with hand held cell phones and conversations with some sort of hands free cell phone. However, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have compared cell phone usage to conversation with a passenger. My suspicion is that the result of that last comparison would demonstrate as much "driver impairment" as cell phone usage and/or BAC of .08. I would like to see the results of that study.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 years ago | (#20428419)

My suspicion is it wouldn't. The passenger knows why you stopped talking, and likewise shuts up. The person on the other end of the phone continues to shout at you "Are you still there?!?"

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 years ago | (#20428739)

My suspicion is it wouldn't. The passenger knows why you stopped talking, and likewise shuts up. The person on the other end of the phone continues to shout at you "Are you still there?!?"/quote If you noticed a problem and shut up, the conversation hasn't interfered with your driving. The studies I have seen indicate that talking on the cell phone causes people to be less alert and miss things they might otherwise notice, why would a conversation with someone in the car (who you can be tempted to turn and make eye contact with) be any less distracting. I have known several people who would turn and make eye contact with me while they were driving, they are much safer when they are talking on a cell phone than when they are talking to a passenger.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

kramulous (977841) | about 7 years ago | (#20429213)

However, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have compared cell phone usage to conversation with a passenger


Driver impairment yes, but i'd also add that you have an extra set of eyes in the car with you to help. Especially if that person is also somebody who drives a lot. You ever feel nervous and look around in blind spots when you are the passenger? Screaming/Fighting/Playful kids in the backseat however ....

Re:Uhmmm... (2, Insightful)

psiogen (262130) | about 7 years ago | (#20427431)

I don't know if this bears out, but intuitively, talking to a passenger seems safer because they are going to be sensitive to what is happening in the car. They may allow the conversation to naturally pause in moments where the driver needs to concentrate, for example.

Re:Uhmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427659)

I'd say when my woman was giving me head as I drive down the 5 at 110 mph I was certainly not a risk to others at all. There was no talking or any conversation.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

Flunitrazepam (664690) | about 7 years ago | (#20429355)

It doesn't matter, according to the last study I heard (on NPR... take it for what it is worth). Supposedly the group of people who were talking to someone in the car were actually driving worse than the group talking on the phone.

Of course setting up the phone call (dialing, putting on your headset, etc) is probably more dangerous than either.

Re:Uhmmm... (2, Interesting)

pthor1231 (885423) | about 7 years ago | (#20427089)

After all, I have no recollection of mere conversation being considered an undue safety risk in regards to driving.
Neither did that driver have any recollection that a car was in his blind spot, but he found out real quick that it was. Just because you don't remember anything happening doesn't mean that someone else's quick reaction didn't save you.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

kramulous (977841) | about 7 years ago | (#20429183)

Studies have found that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous as it slows reaction times and interferes with a driver's perception skills and increases the chance of having a crash.
From http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/mobilephones. html [nsw.gov.au] and http://www.cutr.usf.edu/its/mobile_phone.htm [usf.edu]

But you must be in the 17-24 'invincible' age group. But then again, who am I to preach?

Re:Uhmmm... (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 7 years ago | (#20427071)

Doesn't matter.

Now I agree completely.

But you don't have to be talking, as long as your phone is on it is reporting to the tower. There is also the argument that someone else in the car could be using the phone (say a Taxi passenger). But this should work for people like me who have a cell phone and leave it on, but don't talk while driving.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 years ago | (#20427101)

...shut up and drive?
Is that even relevant? You phone still associates with the nearest tower even if you're not talking. They could glean congestion data purely from that.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

Etrias (1121031) | about 7 years ago | (#20428053)

Is that even relevant? You phone still associates with the nearest tower even if you're not talking. They could glean congestion data purely from that.

Yeah, see that's what happens when 1) people take me too seriously and 2) technical people look at the facts and get all "strokey-beard" on me and say "but it could work!"

I just thought it was funny that more cell phones==more traffic. And in other news, the sky is blue.

And I know it's two hours later, but I had to respond back on this. If we could get real-time stats on where there was a high collection of Motorola Razrs in local bars, that would be handy info of knowing where not to go because (as a poster pointed out and I'm going to steal) there's a high collection of assholes there.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

afidel (530433) | about 7 years ago | (#20427209)

Uh, you don't have to be talking for your cellphone to communicate with the tower........

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

The-Bus (138060) | about 7 years ago | (#20427429)

Yeah, this technology would be a great way to find highly concentrated groups of assholes.

Re:Uhmmm... (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 years ago | (#20428173)

That won't work if the cars aren't moving at all or fast. ;)

sure beats local news method (1)

pigphish (1070214) | about 7 years ago | (#20426733)

GREAT idea. wish the did the same here in nyc. here in ny local news station (1010am) asks people to call in traffic updates which are free if you have a certain carrier. even the mta (metro subway) used surveys a few years back when they first went electronic with the metrocard. dont see why they couldnt log entrance exits and entrances and times.

What took so long? (2, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | about 7 years ago | (#20426741)

With so many cars having GPS' factory-installed since 2000 I have wondered myself why this hasn't already been done in the US; thousands of cars uploading position reports and velocities during rushhour would provide much better information than the notoriously unreliable traffic sensors.

Probably issues of payment for the cell phone charges and privacy.

sPh

Re:What took so long? (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | about 7 years ago | (#20426799)

I've considered logging my trips with GPS and doing data analysis afterwards to try and find trends. I'm surprised there isn't a website out there already doing this.

Re:What took so long? (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | about 7 years ago | (#20426947)

I'd love to see a GPS that allows more 2-way interaction. They already have bluetooth in many of them to allow traffic and weather downloads. Having users able to upload accident info, construction, speed traps, etc would be a fantastic extension. The trick will be taking an off the shelf gps product and writing the open source firmware since I doubt any major vendor would permit the flexibility that people really want.

Re:What took so long? (1)

Matje (183300) | about 7 years ago | (#20432201)

no need to write code, the big vendors are already doing this. Mio offers a community maintained database of speed traps in Europe, I assume they (can) provide this in the US too. It is very convenient, they even know the difference between a traffic light cam, a regular speed cam and a trajectory control cam (average speed over a section of the highway).

TomTom is working on a way to use cellphone data for traffic calculations. What they are aiming for is a system that predicts traffic conditions, so the system will not only route you around current traffic jams but also around expected delays. The reason for using cellphone data by the way is that secondary roads are not monitored electronically. The primary roads in western europe are all monitored electronically already so there's no need to use cellphone data there.

Another thing TomTom has announced is a way to edit the road map on your GPS device and upload those changes to a community database. If a new roundabout is built, and several people independently add it to their map, then the system will distribute the change to all users.

All this info is from articles in the newspaper btw, I don't have any inside knowledge.

Re:What took so long? (1)

defMan (175410) | about 7 years ago | (#20432361)

Well, i do have some insider knowledge here. The "edit map" which is called "Map Share" is already released in the GO 520 and GO 720 products. And i think it is also be included in the just available TomTom ONE v3.

Re:What took so long? (1)

Bluesman (104513) | about 7 years ago | (#20427541)

I'm no GPS expert, but isn't GPS itself completely passive?

When do GPS units upload anything?

Re:What took so long? (1)

sphealey (2855) | about 7 years ago | (#20427617)

Yes, you would need to close the loop by transmitting position/velocity packets to a central server - this could be done easily with a small data channel on a cellphone system.

I think the OnStar satellite system has too much latency, but that might be another option.

sPh

Re:What took so long? (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20429407)

Like I've been doing for a while now [calum.org] .
I'm not going to go anywhere tonight, so if you want to see it in action (it's quite cool :) ) put your email in the notify box, and hit "Let me know!" to get a one-off email when I start moving.

Re:What took so long? (2, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | about 7 years ago | (#20428043)

1. AFAIK someone in Seattle was looking into this more than 2 years ago. So there is nothing particularly innovative about it.

2. You do not need GPS. In fact you do not want GPS, because this makes the data individually identifiable and you have to prove that you are not doing something nefarious with it. Paging stats and handover stats from cells located near trunk routes will be a perfectly good replacement for this. All you need is to play correlation analysis vs actual traffic stats for a couple of days. You can make them more precise by looking at how the timing advance in GSM or power level in CDMA changes, but this is the same can of worms as GPS. You have to prove that privacy is not affected.

What about the traditional modes of transport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20426751)

Does this take into account the numerous bicycles and ox-drawn vehicles that are still a part of the traffic picture there?

Re:What about the traditional modes of transport? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 7 years ago | (#20427715)

If they have cell phones, then yes.

Great stuff - this is innovation (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#20426825)

And for the people who are arguing the bicycles, pedestrians etc would mess with the actual traffic congestion, remember that in bangalore those constitute a great deal of the traffic jam too.

Re:Great stuff - this is innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20427575)

Maybe they should just strap a GPS locator on every cow's ass so they can track the herds and vector traffic around them. C'mon people, this isn't rocket science -- it's animal husbandry!

Not new, but needed in Bangalore (1)

Zabu (589690) | about 7 years ago | (#20426883)

This has been brought up before [discovery.com]
I am glad to see that it is available though. I spent last month in Bangalore and spent over 3 hours in traffic every day to get to and from work, i thought it was hell and I live in Boston! I don't expect that this will help the problem too much. The city needs hard solutions to the traffic problems and they have already started by not allowing any new motor rickshaws, starting public transport rail projects, creating a new highway, and getting serious about traffic ticketing.

Congestion is predictable (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 7 years ago | (#20426967)

It happens with regularity. If satnav systems simply recorded their average speed and learned how fast they were going they could make more intelligent routing decisions.

 

Great! (1)

crhylove (205956) | about 7 years ago | (#20427035)

For the five of us on /. from Bangalore, we are all set! How about something for S. California, which has some of the worst traffic in the world?

Re:Great! (2, Funny)

AnonymousCactus (810364) | about 7 years ago | (#20428623)

I've created such a service that is currently in beta. It's based on the following secret formula (expressed in psuedocode):

if(5 am - 9 pm)
report Traffic Jam
else
report slightly less terrible Traffic Jam

Oh crap, there goes the IP holding the company together...

Not only they (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 years ago | (#20427203)

Canadian Rogers cable tv/ISP/mobile phone provider is working on the same solution as I understand.

As opposed to what? (2, Informative)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | about 7 years ago | (#20427291)

Isn't the traffic always congested in Bangalore?

Re:As opposed to what? (0)

kgskgs (938843) | about 7 years ago | (#20429805)

Define "congested". :)

Missing info (2, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 7 years ago | (#20427383)

How come the map doesn't show all the American call center's and outsourcing firms? This is Bangalore, after all!

Follow the money (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 7 years ago | (#20427427)

Some time ago, it was reported that Bangalore could lose jobs because the software shops were fed up with the congestion there. Infosys opened 1000s of new jobs in other cities (http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.com/2006/01/infy-to -expand-outside-bangalore.html). Maybe Bangalore decided they'd better pay some attention to the problem.

Where have I heard this before? (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 years ago | (#20427653)

A bit off-topic, but have you heard they're going to be tracking cell-phone signals to monitor traffic patterns? It's amazing! Why doesn't Slashdot ever accept a story on the subject?

You can read more here:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/19/143247 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/19/074524 8 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/01/159241 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/16/076217 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/12/30/124324 7 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/06/13/042822 9 [slashdot.org]

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/10/233725 9 [slashdot.org]

There, that's better. Hopefully, one day they'll come to their senses, and post a story or two on the subject.

Sounds okay. (1)

davidkclark (877878) | about 7 years ago | (#20427915)

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. The phone company _already has_ the data, so if they were to release non identifying information (location, direction, speed) for each unit there are no huge privacy concerns - relative to the benefits. As someone else mentioned bikes could be a problem - not to mention pedestrians and old guys sitting on benches. The sheer number of data points could be a useful pointer to whether it's a traffic jam or a bunch of people walking... Some smarts could likely filter the data into classes of movement.

not new idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20428057)

This isn't a new idea, just first to be implemented. I remember reading about this technique about a year or two ago, they wanted to do it in California however people objected because of privacy issues and such, also I think at&t, cingular or both didn't want to participate...
Anyone remember the article?
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