A new study by consulting firm Telematics Research Group (TRG) finds that the proliferation of vehicles equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) based navigation devices is fueling the rise of real-time traffic data services.
“Traffic information used to be delivered through AM or FM radio and generally did not tell you anything you did not already know,” said Phil Magney, co-founder and principal analyst at TRG. “But this is all changing with satellite-based navigation systems—many of which are emerging with a radio receiver that gives you traffic reports for your current location.”
Magney added that such services coupled to real-time satellite uplinks offer more than just “live” traffic information—they are being tooled to offer what he calls predictive traffic data. “After all, what good is a plotted route if it doesn’t consider current traffic conditions,” he explained.
The problem, Magney said, is that the supply of live traffic data is severely fragmented – reflecting the huge variety of sources compiling traffic information, including helicopters and planes, road sensors, roadway cameras, state departments of transportation, and human observers.