Monday, April 18, 2011

The Route to Success

Finding things on your phone is easier than ever these days, with apps that allow you to do everything from spy on your ex boyfriend to find the nearest gas pump. One new app, however, is starting ahead of the curve, and bringing to people for the first time a quick and efficient way to find the quickest and safest route to work.
Developed by the California Department of Transportation, the not yet released app with be available for smartphones, and will not just show where traffic is like a Department of Transportation site does, but rather predict where traffic is likely to occur and the best route around it based upon your own personal route to work. The app collects data from the IBM Traffic Prediction software which is updated every five minutes and will allow users to choose from a number of alternative routes that are presented, even setting favorite routes for future prediction.
Not only is the app coming soon, but future models of the software have even begun being created, models that will boast the ability to incorporate real-time data on public transportation, weather, and even parking availability at destinations along the desired path. This is not only meant to be useful for commuters, but is in high hopes that this public data will persuade drivers to seek public transportation in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and ipso facto - reduce traffic as well.
According to a 2009 study conducted by Texas A&M University, “Currently, commuters across the U.S. spend an average of nearly a week's worth of time, 28 gallons of gas, and $808 a year stuck in traffic congestion”. With numbers like these it’s no surprise that people are searching for alternative means of transportation.


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