GPS To Steer You Around Traffic

GPS devices in your car or truck can help you navigate, but they didn't alert you to traffic jams in your possible path -- that is -- until now.

As CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports, there are at least two GPS systems designed to zip you around those time-wasters.

Microsoft has just unveiled software called "Clearflow" that promises to instantly find you alternate routes around traffic jams.

The other is called Dash Express, which Mark Williamson helped design.

"We take that stress out of your daily life," he remarked to Blackstone.

Dash Express, he says, is meant to beat traffic jams.

"If more people had a device like this, is this the answer to traffic?" Blackstone asked. "Yeah, we really think it is," Williamson replied.

Dash Express, which just hit the market, uses GPS along with road sensors, highway alerts, and other Dash Express users to do its job, Blackstone explains. Each unit sends real-time traffic data to a central computer, so any dash device on the road would know that a given stretch of highway is clear.

"It's almost like being able to phone somebody a couple of miles ahead of you on the road and say, 'How are things going up there?' " Blackstone observed, and Williamson agreed.

If drivers opt to get on a highway, they could know how far a traffic jam they encounter will stretch for, Williamson says, adding that is sure beats wondering.

When Owen Rubin is driving, his Dash Express is both sending and receiving traffic information automatically. He says something of a community is developing around it, noting that his "information tells other Dash users what's happening to me."

It's the same, Blackstone points out, as truckers trading traffic info on C-B radios -- but this is a digital convoy.

"We're the first Internet-connected device," Williamson says," ... collecting traffic data from real people driving real routes in real commute hours."



For much more on this, click on these addresses:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/technology/10maps.html?ref=technology&pagewanted=print

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/24/AR2008032402502_pf.html

http://www.dash.net/product/traffic.php

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