IBM’s Predictive Traffic App

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It’s handy to check the traffic before you head off to work in the morning, but most people don’t get all of the relevant info they need in time to do anything about it. IBM has developed a predictive traffic app that learns your commute and can tell you whether to make a break for it, take the train instead, or just go back to bed until things clear up.

There’s a lot of information out there about traffic patterns, but beyond reactionary alerts like “there’s a huge traffic jam out there right now, sucks for you,” it’s hard to get that info to commuters in time for them to change their travel plans. IBM’s predictive app tries to see into the future by tracking your driving and learning what your commute is like, and then pulling in information from all kinds of different sources to provide you with an update every morning on what the roads are going to be like in minutes or even hours.

For example, IBM’s system can track and localize 911 calls, helping it to predict where there’s likely to be a traffic problem before that problem has actually developed. It’s also wired in to toll booths, parking meters, road sensors, public transit fare tracking systems, cameras, and more, and it takes all of the data and crunches it all together and generates a personal report letting you know what you can expect on your specific commute:

This is all just one small part of how IBM is hoping to integrate information collection with transportation systems to make our cities more efficient; they’ve got a slick flash presentation on some of their future concepts here.

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