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Introducing Google Traffic

A S [PersonRank 3]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
10 years ago2,703 views

Google Traffic is Google's latest innovation that promises to change the world. It is a traffic light system built and managed by Google. It uses the most sophisticated traffic routing algorithm to manage the flow of traffic in dozens of cities, big and small, around the US. The results have been so encouraging in these American cities, it is estimated that hundreds of cities around the world will install Google Traffic within the year.

The main feature making this system so efficient is the traffic sensing cameras installed all over the city which provide constant feedback about the traffic conditions to the main traffic management system. For example, if a bunch of cars are moving along a single road, in a single direction, towards an idle intersection, and there are not many cars coming from any other direction to the intersection, the system learns about this long before the cars reach the intersection. It turns the right lights green so that the cars can pass through the intersection without stopping. This is just a simplistic example. In reality, the system can handle much more complex traffic patterns. The system is smart enough to calculate such parameters as the number of cars moving towards an intersection, the number of cars already waiting at the intersection, the average wait times, etc. It uses this information to ensure that there is minimum average wait time for the cars, minimum fuel burnt waiting and minimum time spent commuting to places.

More here: ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

It's worth noting that the above-linked article is fiction, although it raises some interesting points about advertising. By placing electronic billboards at traffic lights, a company would be able to display very targeted advertising. After all, they could work out that you are doing your regular journey from home to place of work, and from their log of previous journeys would know exactly where your home and work are (and the places where you drive in your leisure time, too).


After the system was implemented in 2019, everything worked well until the acquisition of DoubleDrive Inc in 2023. After that, if you were lucky enough to get green lights all the way to your destination, the system would deliberately give you a long red light just before the end of your journey, so that you did not miss out on your "advertising attention" payment.

A S [PersonRank 3]

10 years ago #

I forgot to mention another important point: the traffic cameras covering the city provide real-time street view on Google Maps!

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