Fleet News

Traffic jam warnings by phone

A NEW traffic monitoring system which uses mobile phones to map and alert drivers to congestion hotspots aims to slash fleet journeys within the next year.

The new technology will use mobile phone networks to trace the movement of phones in vehicles rather than using the standard GPS satellite technology.

Data is aggregated in five-minute cycles and drivers do not have to be using the phone for it to be tracked. Information can then be used by traffic alert providers, fleet and logistic companies, Government bodies and traffic associations such as the AA.

Stuart Marks, chief executive at ITIS holdings, the group behind the system, called Estimotion, said drivers will be able to access information through traditional channels such as satellite navigation systems or telephone traffic alerts, but the information provided will be more in-depth.

He said: 'The benefits for fleets will come from the type of service provided. People with satellite navigation will get information but it will be enhanced by the quality of data.

'The telephone traffic service will provide a list of problems and delay times. It is not our aim to cut congestion, we want to make drivers better informed. It reduces stress as customers are able to choose an alternative route. It is all about advance warnings.'

Estimotion analyses the movement of mobile phones using mapping technology which the group claims is precise enough to differentiate between pedestrians or public transport users carrying mobiles.

It has been developed to cope with inaccurate location data and uses travel time rather than the speed a vehicle is travelling.

Chief transport officer Jonathan Burr said: 'Estimotion analyses the movement of mobile phones. In a cellular environment the number of phones is not an issue and there are no additional communication costs.

'There is no need to fit tracking boxes which is a significant advantage and means we can collect information on a large scale at low cost.'

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