Thursday, April 28

Car Computers Track Traffic

This is pretty amazing: GPS-equipped handheld computers are creating a city-wide network that determines which areas of the road are most congested (based on actual current vehicle speeds) and audibly recommends alternate routes for those commuters lying in the wake of current and potential pileups.

This is still an experimental pilot program, but the concept is definitely on the right track. I even see such a program developing (after quite a while) into the computer-controlled automatic driving machines present in certain stories of Asimov. If every car gets hooked up to the network, so the vehicles can "know" each others' precise position, that technology could definitely be harnessed to automate safe driving. Of course that would open up the possibility to giving individual vehicle speeds to local authorities, and possibly allowing police to issue citations for unseen law-breaking, with an efficiency that even unattended red-light cameras have failed to attain.

But I'm getting way ahead of myself. This technology, as used for traffic control and management, is definitely in its infancy, but the idea as it stands is wonderful.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.