Invent Civil

Civil Engineering news, technology, and opinions

12 Aug, 2008

Dash – crowdsourcing traffic

Posted by: Skylar In: technology

Dash is a service that works sort of like an average GPS system. It can tell you where you are, and give you some different routes to get to a certain destination. The cool thing about it, though, is that it’s connected to the internet. The system can provide current gas prices at various locations, and can connect to sites like craigslist and Yahoo! Local.

However, the most interesting part about Dash is that it creates real-time traffic network statistics that allows the user to see what roads are running slowest. Each unit submits anonymous statistics on driving speed and location to update the traffic data. The larger the number of units in use in any particular city, the more accurate the traffic updates for that area.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the vast potential for an invention of this nature. I’m starting to imagine what would happen if municipalities were able to partner with a company like this to gain traffic data for their own city. It would certainly make some city planning aspects easier, just considering the type of research that is currently required for traffic analysis. Why not crowdsource this work and save the city some time and effort? And in the future we might be able to see cities automate various traffic controls to adapt to current traffic conditions provided by this data. Why not?


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