Everytime I am stuck in traffic, I wonder why no one provides alerts on cellphones. NYTimes has news of Zipdash:
Zipdash, a start-up in Palo Alto, Calif., hopes to take advantage of the growing number of mobile telephones with global positioning satellite receivers to gather the travel speeds of thousands or tens of thousands of drivers, displaying highway conditions as maps on cellphone screens.
The Zipdash application displays a map of traffic speeds as green, yellow and red arrows, graphically representing traffic jams and bottlenecks. The company plans to add features, including route planning and accident alerts. The service will be free to cellphone users and Zipdash is planning to create a business by selling accurate traffic information to Web sites and other publishers.
Currently in many states, highway departments offer some traffic information drawn from sensor networks embedded in freeways that report speeds and fixed cameras that monitor different choke points. By contrast, the Zipdash system uses both traffic data gathered from individual travelers as well as additional information from taxi and trucking and shuttle fleets. That allows a much finer picture of traffic patterns than what is available with sensor data.