BMW Real-Time Traffic Information Explained
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Building on the existing Real-Time Traffic Information, (or RTTI, for short, currently in use on several models) and on the Traffic Info Plus service, the system is the upmarket version of the Traffic Message Channel and comes with improved maps, solutions and optimized re-routing. Below you will find a short description of how the system is supposed to work.
The RTTI uses data communication via cellular networks and a SIM card embedded into the vehicle to gather information, as well as local authority traffic computers, sensors embedded in highways or cameras on bridges, giving the system immediate access to information about possible delays on ring roads and connection routes between cities.
To properly cover the road network (BMW says the RTTI contains information about motorways, major roads, country roads and inner-city links in several European countries, without naming them), the system divides the road network, for better analysis, into sections of 500 meters, with the information of each section being updated every three minutes. This allows the system to provide the driver with information about the length of the queue and advises them on the possible delays.
If such a situation occurs, the RTTI begins looking for alternative routes. When it finds proper alternatives, it brings them to the attention of the driver, complete with information about the difference in distance and time compared to the current route. Simply put, the system would give you a choice of staying on the current, jammed road, or taking the alternative, depending on the time and distance lost on the alternate road.
The interface, which lets the driver know what to expect on the road ahead, is insured by the control display of the iDrive control system. The RTTI, which will be offered to BMW customers only combined with the BMW Navigation System Professional including mobile phone preparation with Bluetooth interface, will alert the driver of the road conditions ahead as follows: the colored road markings on the navigation map are used to display the direction of the traffic, while the traffic situation itself is displayed using four colors.
The road markings will be colored green for free traffic flow, yellow for slow-moving traffic, orange for stop and go and red for a jam.
Overall, the new RTTI will have some major advantages over the existing systems. Yet, one of its major advantages (the fact that it relies on a big number of sources to compile information about the traffic), is also a minor disadvantage.
The system depends on the accuracy and the speed its sources make public the information about any given road. As is the case with any other real-time traffic information system, the “real-time” term is relative, as it may take a few minutes before the status of the road ahead is updated.
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