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GPS To Help Traffic Control

by diane 2010-04-23 17:26

Modern Technology will help thousands of drivers and motorists while they are stuck in traffic. Motorists in Gauteng and parts of Cape Town have to endure long delays as construction vehicles and lane closures disrupt traffic flows. And, even where construction isn’t causing congestion, there is still no avoiding snarl-ups when traffic lights are out or accidents block the highway.
Until now, most people have used traffic reports on regional radio stations to help them avoid delays. But these reports are sometimes unreliable as they depend on people on the ground reporting incidents. Also, they aren’t broadcast throughout the day.
But soon technology, in the form of real-time traffic data, will be coming to the rescue of the country’s motorists.
Imagine driving down the highway and having your cellphone, in-car navigation system or personal navigation device (PND) — the standalone GPS systems made by companies like Garmin and TomTom — warn you about a traffic obstruction ahead. Imagine the PND then routing you around the obstruction, along roads that are clear of traffic, so that you make your meeting in time. Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not. At least three companies — TomTom and vehicle tracking companies Altech Netstar and Tracker — are developing systems that will do exactly this.
Netstar sees real-time traffic data as a key growth area for its business and recently set up a joint venture company, Altech Netstar Traffic, with UK-based traffic management specialist Itis Holdings.
The company is extracting information in real time from 70 000 fleet vehicles under its management. It combines all the data it receives automatically with information gleaned from pilots in its vehicle recovery aircraft, from its drivers on the ground, and from traffic reports on the radio, and supplies this data to third-party service providers and mapping companies.
Netstar Traffic has developed a “location code table” of 65 000 geographic points around the country, with real-time traffic data available from each of these locations.


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