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TRITON TIDBITS FROM CAMPUS AND BEYOND

Monday, January 12 2004
Bye-Bye Bottleneck Blues

     

Commuting in San Diego is no day at the beach. But what if you could find out where the bottlenecks were by simply using your cell phone? And what if that information about serious traffic problems got pushed to you in advance of your commute? Welcome to the San Diego Wireless Traffic Report, a service powered by UCSD’s Cal-(IT)2.

Dial 866-500-0977, specify a major freeway, and the system will report average traffic speeds at various intersections. The data, provided by CalTrans, comes from sensors embedded in the highways, which track the number of cars passing overhead. This data is then turned into voice signals for delivery over cell phone networks.

You can establish a customized commute profile at http://traffic.calit2.net, which will recognize your cell phone number when you call in. It will then provide traffic flow details tailored to your route.

“ This project provides a proof of concept for the federally mandated 511 (phone number) system,” says Ganz Chockalingam, lead researcher on the project. “We’re delighted that students contributed significantly to this new-and-improved system.”