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Tom Keating
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As a huge proponent of GPS I've complained to just about anyone who will listen that all GPS systems should incorporate real-time traffic conditions and use them to calculate the optimal route. And no, I'm not talking about real-time traffic conditions in just the major cities. That is to say - even people that live in say New York City still have to travel outside the metropolitan area, so what good is traffic calculations that are only good in a 10 mile radius? I've proposed a P2P (peer-to-peer) GPS system whereby each car that has a GPS would anonymously transmit their current speed and location to other cars with a 50 mile radius utilizing GPS. The GPS computer would then use this data from hundreds of datapoints to figure out which roads have slow traffic and which ones are clear. Who will be the Kazaa, eMule, or BitTorrent of GPS?

Anyway, today NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, began offering its NAVTEQ Traffic solution in Orlando and Tampa, Florida. I say big whoop. Gimme nationwide traffic conditions not just metro areas.

In any event, NAVTEQ Traffic is currently available in 20 markets throughout the United States. According to NAVTEQ, this launch of two new markets is the first milestone in an ongoing initiative to offer NAVTEQ Traffic in additional high volume traffic markets throughout the United States.

There are some cool aspects to what NAVTEQ is doing however, including aggregating various traffic monitoring information. NAVTEQ Traffic is a data gathering, aggregation and quality-tested solution that links up-to-the minute traffic information to map data and enables wireless transmission directly to a vehicle's on-board navigation system. NAVTEQ Traffic combines data from multiple sources across the country, including the leading commercial traffic data providers, government departments of transportation, police and emergency services, road sensors, cameras and airborne reports. The solution aggregates available data including planned incidents (such as construction), unplanned incidents (such as accidents and disabled vehicles) and flow (speed and movement of traffic). Once received, traffic data is quality tested and linked to the map for wireless delivery to an on-board navigation system.

"Since launching NAVTEQ Traffic last spring, we have confirmed that both car companies and consumers recognize the enhanced navigation experience resulting from the availability of real-time traffic information. With proven aggregation and quality assurance processes in place, NAVTEQ is now focused on leveraging those processes to expand NAVTEQ Traffic to additional markets," commented John MacLeod, Executive Vice President - Global Marketing & Strategy.

In June, NAVTEQ Traffic will be available in the following 22 markets:Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington DC.

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