News / Science & Technology

    New Navigation Technology Predicts Traffic Conditions

    New Navigation Technology Predicts Traffic Conditionsi
    X
    March 06, 2013 10:43 PM
    In cities around the world, commuters spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. In the United States, Los Angeles and San Francisco have the worst traffic jams with Washington D.C. winning first place according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Some drivers depend on GPS navigation systems to avoid congestion. As Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles, there is new navigation technology that claims it can provide the fastest route available by predicting traffic conditions before the driver even leaves the house.

    From New Delhi to Beijing commuters spend more time than they would like stuck in traffic. In the United States, Los Angeles and San Francisco tie for second place for having the worst traffic jams, with Washington D.C. winning first place according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

    Some drivers depend on GPS navigation systems with real time traffic information to avoid congestion. There is now new navigation technology that claims it can provide the fastest route available by predicting traffic conditions before the driver leaves the house.


    In Los Angeles, a driver spends sixty-one hours every year on the road stuck in traffic.


    Christian Garcia knows what it's like. He delivers and installs televisions and is on the road all the time. "It’s a prison of cars. There’s too many cars, you can’t move around a lot," Garcia said.
     

    Professor Cyrus Shahabi also knows about traffic jams. He lives more than 65 kilometers from his office at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. He says he always seems to be late.


    "Everytime I walk into a meeting I would say I was stuck in traffic It sounds more now as an excuse than that really I was stuck in traffic, Shahabi said. That’s even with the help of a navigation system.

     

    Shahabi and his PhD student Ugur Demiryurek decided to develop a smart phone app that will do what other navigation systems cannot. It’s called ClearPath.


    "I would never think that my PhD work would actually become a product for people," Demiryurek said.


    Shahabi says ClearPath uses historical data to predict the traffic.


    "What’s unique is that we utilize a lot of data that’s currently become available including traffic data, weather data, and we analyze that so that we can predict what’s going to happen in front of you when you leave home," Shahabi said.


    ClearPath uses two and a half years worth of traffic data from 9,000 sensors on the roads of Los Angeles. It also collects information on accidents.

     

    "Now you are driving you have an accident in front of you but the accident is 20 minutes away and you know from historical data that that accident would clear by the time you get there. We can take that into account and send you toward the accident because we think by the time you get there there wouldn’t be any accident," Shahabi said.

     

    Shahabi says unlike other navigation systems that only respond to current traffic conditions, a driver can enter in advance what time he wants to leave on a specific time and date, and ClearPath will give the fastest route. ClearPath also looks at the entire road network, including surface streets as well as highways, before the driver hits the road. He says systems like Google Maps do not.

     

    "Once you’re at the freeway, they don’t look at the surface streets anymore. They only look at the freeways until they get you close to your destination. At that time they look back at the surface street," Shahabi said.

     

    Ugur Demiryurek says they will launch the free ClearPath app for roads in Los Angeles in two months. In a year, he and Shahabi aim to have ClearPath available nationwide and overseas once they can collect traffic data from other cities.

     

    "I thought always that L.A. had the worst traffic but now I know that Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, believe it or not, Singapore, Hong Kong definitely are examples that can immediately utilize this," Shahabi said.

     

    Shahabi hopes to license this new technology to firms who already have navigation systems, such as Google and Apple.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora