Google’s “Real Time” Traffic Data

The blogosphere has gone nuts over the idea that Google Mobile Maps will be showing real-time traffic maps, with information generated by the very people (at least those with Android phones, and a few other devices) navigating that traffic (yes, this is what Dash does/did, on a smaller scale). We can crowdsource our way out of congestion!

As Wired notes, “The new service takes this data from everyone and combines it, using Google’s big brain, to give a pretty accurate picture of traffic conditions, which are then piped back to your device.”

Question is just how “pretty” is pretty. As Roadguy notes, the reality looks better on screen than on the street. Google’s Big Brain is still developing, apparently.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 9:44 am and is filed under Congestion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Google’s “Real Time” Traffic Data”

  1. Yokota Fritz Says:

    Should be interesting to see how this project copes with input from “alternative transportation.” Average speed in San Francisco Bay Area carpool lanes, for example, can be two to three times the speed in the other lanes. During rush hour, traffic on portions of Central Expressway in the South Bay might average 25 mph while immediately adjacent Caltrain whizzes by at 70 mph. Cyclists on Central Expressway, in the meantime, average 12 to 17 mph.

  2. Bossi Says:

    Heh, I’ve been wondering how Google would be handling parked cars… well I guess for the time being, there’s my answer!

  3. fred_dot_u Says:

    What a wonderful idea (sarcasm) that drivers on the roadway, in congested traffic should be texting information in to google. Let’s add one more distaction to the list for drivers.

    Of course, the proper method is to pull off to the side to perform the notification. Yeah, sure, that’s going to happen!

  4. MikeOnBike Says:

    Fred, they’re not texting. The phones are automatically sending location and speed info to Google.

  5. fred_dot_u Says:

    oh. thanks for the clarification. I’ve forgotten how quickly the technology has advanced. on the other hand, some of those drivers may be checking the traffic while driving.

    Considering how invasive are many of Google’s services, I won’t be offering up my cell-phone data.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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