GPS Mapping solutions have existed for many years now. They started out as dedicated devices people attached to their car to help them get around. With the advent of smartphones with GPS chips, this soon moved to the phone for a lot of people. Now most phones come with some form of GPS mapping solutions. In India, up-till now the maps have not been in great detail, with information not always up to date. Traffic information for roads was also unavailable, especially on the largest mapping solution: Google Maps. ‘Traffline’ has picked up the flame and began giving live traffic updates in Metro’s in India.
Traffline will be tying up with the official Traffic Police websites to give commuters live information on traffic congestion in their city. This feature is said to be ready in a week’s time. The traffic information can be viewed as a list, or visually on a map on the city and the motorist’s route. Further, SMS and email alerts will also be available.
Brijraj Waghani, co-founder of Traffline, said, “At present, most motorists rely on information available through radio channels for congestion spots. But this information is limited and gets outdated very soon. The advantage with Traffline is that it offers real-time updates. As of now, we are providing information on an area basis and are working towards including major landmarks as well. Smartphone applications for Android and iPhones will be launched by October,”
The system relies on getting data from GPS-based locational devices fitted onto public transport vehicles. The data is then filtered and real-time information is provided on road traffic. A link to access Traffline is likely to be uploaded onto the traffic police’s website.
How does this work? They have fitted GPS tracking devices on public transport vehicles like BEST buses, which allow them to see the traffic situation in real time. This information is then pushed onto their website where commuters can see it. It should be noted that the traffic information shown is not older than ten minutes old, making it almost in real time.
ACP Brigesh Singh, who was involved in the project and claimed it could be used in emergencies for evacuation and VIP movement, said,“In future, we could add more features to Traffline and make it more interactive,“
We tried out Traffline’s website on a mobile device and found it well presented and intuitive.
There are different color codes for different traffic states, all of which are up to date. Users can use this to plan out their route. However, there is no system in place to suggest an alternate route or the route with the least traffic to the commuter. Hopefully, this will be added as time passes. Nevertheless, the project is admirable and unique.
We are pleased to see the Traffic Police of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore embracing the Internet and Technology to assist the everyday commuter in his journey. Hopefully awareness of the project will be sufficient. What do you think? Will you use Traffline to avoid traffic snarls in the city? Do let us know in the comments below.