Mobile Phones Combat Traffic Congestion
As you sit in your car amongst thousands of others, sweating even as the AC chugs, the question lingers: how can you remove traffic from your life? Researchers from MIT may have the answer: starting in Rome, they're using data from mobile phone networks to create real time maps of people moving around the city, giving commuters a more detailed, wide-ranging view of traffic conditions -- everywhere, not just on major roads and highways.
Essentially, with all of the GPS devices in taxis, buses, and mobile phones spread about the city, the researchers are attempting to create algorithms that can give drivers a comprehensive look at any part of the city, directing them away from traffic and accounting for the ebb and flow of congestion in real time.
The effect on public transportation could be huge as well; Rome currently runs a service to let people know when buses will arrive via their mobiles; one possible next step is to send buses to where the people are, rather than sticking to fixed schedules. All of which adds up to less congestion, and less exhaust coming out of those tailpipes.
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