On the Road or In the Cab?

It used to be if you wanted to know the weather, you stepped outside. Being able to predict future weather was a dream, eventually realized through technology innovations. It wasn't too long ago that having a better handle on current traffic conditions also was a dream turned reality.

Before, drivers only learned of traffic conditions when they encountered them, eventually, radio and later television, provided semi-delayed traffic updates during their regular news updates. Today, the transportation industry finds itself in its own predictive technology revolution. These technologies are especially interesting to me, having studied and worked on traffic prediction software earlier in my career.

During the early days of traffic reporting, conditions were often only available in metropolitan areas where radio and television stations monitored police scanners and deployed helicopters. With the invention of car phones, drivers could now phone in traffic conditions real-time to be included in on-air reports. Eventually, major metropolitan regions began building electronic message boards along freeways, allowing transportation officials to alert drivers to issues ahead. Today, the use of these signs is rapidly growing as infrastructure expands, providing enhanced information sharing.

As the use of electronic road signs expands, technology also is evolving to put traffic information directly in the hands of drivers, wherever they are. Smartphone apps are expanding the availability of traffic information available on phones, GPS makers are utilizing the wide cellular coverage to provide real-time updates on in-car navigation devices, and commercial telematics companies are building enhanced routing systems into their in-cab devices. But all of this expanded access to information brings about a new question, what is the best way to deliver this information?

This question is as important for government officials as it is for your fleet. When looking into telematics solutions for your fleet there are a number of delivery options and it is important to research all alternatives. No matter what method of delivery you feel is best, expect to see a rapid expansion of the technology.

This entry was posted on October 22nd, 2012 by jhubbard and is filed under Recent News & Updates.