Feeds

TomTom to track phones for real-time traffic info

More responsive, better coverage than RDS?

High performance access to file storage

Vodafone and route-planning specialist TomTom will next year deploy what they believe will be the world's first commercial traffic data system based on tracking thousands of mobile phones in real-time, the pair said today.

The system uses standard signalling data sent back and forth between mobile phones and cellular base-stations to pin-point a handset's location and speed, which are effectively the position and speed of the vehicle it's inside. Build a composite of all the data received this way from handsets located along a road and you have an indication of how congested - or not - that road is.

TomTom reckons that information can be sold back to motorists and fleet managers as more accurate traffic data than they're currently getting from the many services already sending out congestion alerts. The big difference, claimed TomTom, is that its offering provides warnings in real-time not when someone phones a traffic hazard in.

So as soon as, say, the A5 starts to jam, TomTom operatives can begin feeding that information through to subscribers' GPS-based route-planning kit to start taking drivers down alternative routes. And get them back on the A5 again as soon as the problem has cleared.

With every road covered, calculating an alternative route can be performed more smartly, TomTom said. That said, if there aren't any Vodafone customers driving down a given stretch of road, the data will be misleading. Just pray you don't get caught among motorists on their way to an O2 convention.

Vodafone likes the TomTom system because it will mean much more data pinging its way back and forth across its GPRS network as more data is requested by and sent out to drivers.

TomTom stressed the data is collected anonymously, but then it's doing nothing the phone networks haven't been able to do for ages.

TomTom has been trialling the technology in the Netherlands, which will also play host to the commercial roll-out in H2 2007. It's currently looking to partner with other networks in other countries to expand the service's reach outside of Holland. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.