GPS-enabled gadgets, from dedicated units to mobile phones, hold the promise of helping their users dodge bad traffic. Unfortunately, they're often hamstrung by the information backing them; many of the most popular traffic monitoring systems, including Google Maps, simply don't have sufficiently refined real-time traffic data. A new project, backed by Nokia, NAVTEQ, and UC Berkeley, hopes to alter this by making your mobile phone part of a two-way conversation about traffic conditions.
The collaboration, dubbed "Mobile Millennium" by the California Center for Innovative Transportation (where it is based), seeks to create a more useful traffic monitoring system using software that can be installed on a variety of Java-enabled consumer mobile phones, including various models from Nokia, BlackBerry, and other handset manufacturers. It anonymously collects data from these phones and combines it with data from other organizations and companies, such as the Department of Transportation and Inrix, to create what will probably be the most accurate traffic monitoring system yet.
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