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Nokia’s looking to up the ante in a big way by utilizing a large network of GPS-enabled handsets to actually predict traffic patterns and help you avoid congestion before you even leave for that afternoon appointment.
The experiment was in collaboration with the California Center for Innovative Transportation (CCIT), CalTrans, and Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
University students drove the cars all day back and forth along Interstate 880. Each was carrying a cellphone loaded with Global Positioning System software.
As the students drove the freeway, the phone sent data about each car’s speed and position back to the company’s research facility where a team will analyze the usability of the data and determine what comes next. The data is compiled and used to predict traffic patterns and
help drivers get where they need to be quickly.
Nokia Chief Technology Officer Bob Iannucci, who was on hand for the field test, said this particular project is moving at a more aggressive pace than most of Nokia’s research because of the potential impact of the experiment. He hopes to expand the experiment from 100
to possibly 1,000 people soon. And instead of participating in a one-day test, users would be invited to use the traffic monitoring software in the course of their daily routines.