Sitting in traffic sucks. You know it, I know it, and so does the planet. Although driving isn’t the cleanest means of transportation, minimizing your time on the road is just plain healthy. Here are 5 emerging technologies that can help you not play, “How many state license plates can I count?”
- Researchers at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory want to replace how signals gather information about traffic. Currently, there are induction coils embedded into the asphalt that send a pulse to the signal when cars move over them. This has worked, but installing and maintaining them essentially cuts off the road. The team is angling for infrared sensors to be placed on lampposts to gather the information. Lamposts are everywhere there are traffic lights, and the sensors can easily pick up power from them.
- Here’s how YOU can help reduce traffic congestion. The Mobile Millennium Project seeks to collect data from user’s GPS enabled cell phones to gather traffic speeds and then send it back out to users.
- Back to the future. Microsoft has put out a software called JamBayes that analyzes current and historical traffic data to make a prediction about the route that you should take to get to your destination.
- Your own personal driving coach? MyDrive is a system that learns your driving habits (how fast you accelerate, how you drive during various conditions) and then uses that information to forecast your journey. It may even lower your insurance premium if MyDrive can prove to your provider that you are as safe a driver as you think.
- Anything that makes you more aware of the impact you’re having on the environment is beneficial and thought-provoking. Transport Research Laboratories has come up with a software that can make drivers more aware of the fuel they are wasting by inefficient driving techniques. Using GPS to map the route, Sentience tells you how to take the next turn or go up that big hill using the least amount of fuel.
Image Courtesy K2D2vaca via flickr under Creative Commons license
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