New Technology Predicts Traffic Conditions for San Francisco Commuters

Maria Balilo's picture


Researchers from IBM, Caltrans and UCB are developing an advanced traffic information system that can  calculate what traffic will be like in the next 40 minutes, predict possible dangers and delays, and automatically integrate that information into a personalized trip planner that commuters will receive via text message or email, helping them save time, money and gas. 
It will go a step further than GPS and Internet traffic sites. Traffic predictions will be made by calculating traffic volumes and record speeds based on Caltrans' network of road sensors. Real-time traffic conditions are plugged into that model and trip times are calculated. Alerts will then be sent to commuters based on info gathered from their smart phones; they will receive their traffic alerts ideally 10 mins before any frequently taken commute. 
The dual goal is to give commuters more convenience, and reduce the city's  congestion problem. It all sounds fancy and efficient. Do you think this project fails to consider the spontaneous and non-calculable nature of on-the-road disturbances, or is it overall a smart investment?

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