Cell Phones to feed Live Traffic Data

Almost everybody carries a mobile phone these days. There are around 2.1 billion mobile phone users. US alone has around 217 Million users.  Its a good news for many reasons.  One reason is these cellular phones help you identify traffic congestions in real time. And this solution is quite inexpensive to deploy widely. No, I am not talking about cellular phone users contacting FM radio stations or traffic monitoring centers informing about traffic congestions.  All cellular phones announce its location information in almost every message they send to radio towers. This will essentially help in maintaining connection when you are moving, in technical terms, a handover.  And IntelliOne engineers found a way to combine this information coming from 1000s of cell phones and decrypt the hidden message, that can tell a lot about the traffic congestions. Interesting? Ofcourse, it is.  Well, then read on.

Engineers have developed a system for taking anonymous cell-phone location information and turning it into an illuminated traffic map that identifies congestion in real time.The system takes advantage of the steady stream of positioning cues--untraced signals all cell phones produce, whether in use or not, as they seek towers with the strongest signals. It is the first traffic-solution technology that monitors patterns on rural roads and city streets as easily as on highways.

Developed by IntelliOne of Atlanta, Ga., the TrafficAid system could not only help guide drivers around tie-ups, but also tell emergency responders where accidents are or how effectively an evacuation is unfolding by pinpointing clusters of cell phones.

"Unlike sensors and other equipment along major freeways that is expensive and takes years to deploy, our system takes advantage of existing cellular networks in which wireless carriers have already invested billions of dollars," said National Science Foundation (NSF) awardee and IntelliOne CEO Ron Herman, a former engineer and computer scientist.

[ In a snapshot from a single carrier's network in Tampa, Fla., blue dots represent all active mobile phones -- data sources for the IntelliOne system. Credit: IntelliOne Technologies Corporation ]

Every cell phone sends its location information in almost all the messages it uses to communicate with the network. This information is sniffed out of the network and  funneled to IntelliOne's Positioning servers and then fed to Traffic servers for analysis and mapping to deduce the hidden message.

[ Picture from IntelliOne's website ]

Source : http://www.physorg.com/news76178303.html  and read more at IntelliOne's website:  http://www.intellione.com/tech_int_architecture.php

[tags]Intellione, Mobile-Life-Style, Location-Applications, Mobile-Applications, traffic-monitoring, USA[/tags]

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