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.
Elizabeth Lee

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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid