Nokia has a new finger on the traffic pulse


One of the perks of the internet for commuters is the availability of real-time traffic information. Not only can these updates tell you where accidents have occurred, they can tell you the average speed of cars on a given stretch of road.

Right now, this information is obtained via roadside sensors that measure the speeds of passing cars and trucks. But Nokia has come up with a new way to relay your car speed — by using your cell phone.

The idea is that an enabled cell phone could periodically tell a receiver where it is and how fast it’s going. When put together with the information from thousands of other cell phone, this could draw out an inexpensive, thorough, and accurate traffic map.

Nokia recently conducted a small-scale experiment starting with 100 Berkeley students. The study was conducted in partnership with CalTrans and Berkeley’s Department of Engineering.

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