GPS Cellphones Used as Traffic Sensors

Nokia, NAVTEQ and UC Berkeley signed a new agreement that enables GPS capable mobile phone owners to act as traffic sensors by sending traffic data to a remote server for processing. The new program, dubbed Mobile Millenium, includes both highways and side streets, with especially focus on “users with compatible smart phone who drive between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Lake Tahoe ski area,” as it is mentioned on the official website.

The whole project is based on a downloadable software available for free which requires users to install it on their compatible handhelds in order to collect and send data to the server. Among the compatible devices, we can mentioned BlackBerry Curve 8310 (AT&T), BlackBerry Pearl 3110 (AT&T), Nokia E71, Nokia N95, Nokia N96 and Nokia E61i with external GPS. iPhones are not supported for the time being, but software devs said a compatible version should be released anytime in the near future.

Generally, the application works on Nokia and non-Nokia mobile devices but Java compatibility and GPS support is required. For more information regarding the downloadable software, check out the official website of Mobile Millenium.

“It gathers data in a privacy preserving environment, relying on the Virtual Trip Lines technology, a data sampling paradigm that anonymizes the GPS-based position information and aggregates it into a single data stream. The aggregated data is then encrypted and sent to a computer system, which blends it with other sources of traffic data and broadcasts this real-time, data rich information back to the phones and to the internet through a user friendly interface,” the companies involved in the project described the way the service works.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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