Anyone navigating the roads of southern California knows that congestion
and delays are commonplace. The California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) offers detailed information on bottlenecks and delays
on major highways - but only online. For anyone who does not have
immediate access to the Web, the only available traffic information
is on the radio. Now, Calit2 has developed the San Diego
Wireless Traffic Report as part of its advanced technology research
program to find solutions to infrastructure issues facing Californians
- in this case, to give motorists "anytime, anywhere" access to
traffic alerts and highway speeds.
"What I particularly love to do is take core technologies
and develop innovative voice, wireless, and telematics applications
for consumers. The Traffic Report system is one example. Users
can customize the traffic report to their morning and evening
commuting patterns, through a Web portal (http://traffic.calit2.net),
and access them using their cell phones."
- Ganz Chockalingam,
Report is a voice-assisted information service for commuters in
the greater San Diego region, provided free of charge by the institute.
The service allows motorists to dial in from their cell, home, or
office phones to retrieve real-time alerts and traffic speeds for
most major highways countywide. It draws on the same up-to-date
traffic data that is available only through the Caltrans website.
The freeway speed data is collected 24/7 by Caltrans from sources
including electronic sensors in the pavement, freeway call boxes,
video cameras, and motorist cell calls. The data is channeled through
the San Diego Transportation Management Center, the nerve center
for the region's urban road infrastructure, covering roughly 1,000
miles of highway in San Diego and Imperial counties.
The web portal to customize a motorist's traffic report is http://traffic.calit2.net.
You can create an account by registering your cell phone and then
enter your morning and evening commute routes. You then call (866)
500-0977 from your cell phone, and the system will identify you
based on the cell phone number you are calling from. It will give
the traffic conditions for your morning/evening commute route, depending
on the time of day you call. If you don't have your cell phone handy,
or if you have not signed up for an account, you can still use the
system by calling from any phone. The system will no longer be able
identify you, but you can say the highway name such as "5 North"
and the system will inform you of the congested regions of the highway.
The technology could be incorporated into a future "511" traffic
information service now in the planning stages for San Diego County.
Contact: Ganz Chockalingam, (858) 822-3844, firstname.lastname@example.org