TransLink develops real-time traffic maps for public 0
Commuters are encouraged to visit drivebc.ca to check out congestion conditions before hitting the road. (SUBMITTED)
Real-time traffic maps developed by TransLink that interpret cell phone signals to check road congestion are now available for free to local commuters.
By measuring the phone signals, the system detects how many people are travelling each route, and identifies those least congested with green, moderate traffic with orange and heavy traffic with red.
TransLink, Transport Canada and the provincial government funded the $1.2-million project. According to the Ministry of Transportation, any personal data gathered from the phones is removed before its use.
TransLink spokeswoman Jiana Ling said on Wednesday the data’s accuracy would depend on how many cell phone users are travelling each route at any time. She said the software has options to filter out cyclist and pedestrian traffic based on travel speeds.
There are currently no plans to develop a cell phone app, Ling said.
She said cell phone data was picked versus global positioning system devices, as most people now carry mobile phones connected to cell towers.
“We are looking for possible future enhancements — that could mean optimizing it for mobile viewing and open-data streaming, or allowing traffic information to be used by researchers or software developers,” she said.
See the map at drivebc.ca.