traffic reporting
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Traffic reporting is the near real-time distribution of information about
road A road is a linear way for the conveyance of traffic that mostly has an road surface, improved surface for use by vehicles (motorized and non-motorized) and pedestrians. Unlike streets, the main function of roads is transportation. There are ro ...
conditions such as
traffic congestion Traffic congestion is a condition in transport that is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular Queuing theory, queueing. Traffic congestion on urban road networks has increased substantially since the 1950s. ...
,
detour __NOTOC__ A detour or (British English: diversion) is a (normally temporary) route taking traffic around an area of prohibited or reduced access, such as a construction site. Standard operating procedure for many roads departments is to route an ...
s, and traffic collisions. The reports help drivers anticipate and avoid traffic problems. Traffic reports, especially in cities, may also report on major delays to
mass transit Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public unlike private transport, typical ...
that does not necessarily involve roads. In addition to periodic broadcast reports, traffic information can be transmitted to GPS units, smartphones, and personal computers.


Methods of gathering information

There are several methods in use today to gather traffic speed and incident info, ranging from professional reporters, to
GPS The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a Radionavigation-satellite service, satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Space Force. It is one of t ...
crowdsourcing to combinations of both methods. * INRIX uses its network of over 175 million vehicles and devices to gather speed data from
mobile phones A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, hand phone or pocket phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell, or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive telephone call, calls over a radio freq ...
, trucks, delivery vans, and other fleet vehicles equipped with GPS locator devices including smart phones and Ford SYNC and Toyota Entune and much of Europe, South America, and Africa. * Google Traffic works by
crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing involves a large group of dispersed participants contributing or producing goods and services, goods or services—including ideas, Voting, votes, Microwork, micro-tasks, and finances—for payment or as volunteers. Contemporary ...
the GPS information from phone users. By calculating the speed of users along a stretch of road, Google is able to generate a live traffic map. Its subsidiary,
Waze Waze (; he, ווייז, label=Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelit ...
, also allows users to report directly via a smartphone app. * TomTom Traffic uses crowd-sourced data from mobile phone users, along with data from traditional sources such as induction loops and traffic cameras. * Monitoring police radio frequencies. Some radio stations have agreements with states' highway patrol that permit a direct connection with a law enforcement computer. This enables real-time information gathering of the latest accident reports to highway patrol divisions . * Many areas have
helicopters A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which Lift (force), lift and thrust are supplied by horizontally spinning Helicopter rotor, rotors. This allows the helicopter to VTOL, take off and land vertically, to hover (helicopter), hover, and t ...
to overfly accident scenes and other areas of high traffic volume. For example, by the company Global Traffic Network. * Traffic camera * Giditraffic is an online social service which employs crowd sourcing as its primary means of providing real-time traffic updates to subscribers. The service is delivered free of charge. * RoadPal uses
crowd-sourced Crowdsourcing involves a large group of dispersed participants contributing or producing goods and services, goods or services—including ideas, Voting, votes, Microwork, micro-tasks, and finances—for payment or as volunteers. Contemporary ...
data from mobile users as well as the social media to provide users with traffic information of places of interest to them. * Roadside speed sensors, either infrared sensors for spot measurements or
automatic number plate recognition Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR; see also #Other names, other names below) is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. It can use existing close ...
for measuring speed between two sites ( Trafficmaster have a network of sensors on motorways and trunk roads in the UK).


Methods of transmitting information

* GPS units (see Integration of traffic data with navigation systems) * Smartphones * Radio via voice RDS, and TA * Electronic road signs * 5-1-1 traffic information phone line or similar. * Television and web


Providers


Total Traffic & Weather Network
is the largest provider of real time broadcast traffic information in the United States. TTWN's broadcast traffic information appears on hundreds of radio and television stations as well on a multitude of automotive and gps navigation systems throughout the United States. TTWN traffic reports reach approximately 125M commuters per month. In 2011, TTWN acquired then competitor Metro Networks for $125M, about 1/10th of the company's $1B sale price to Westwood One a decade earlier. In 2006, TTWN partnered with BMW to become the first company in the United States to bring a product to the consumer market that displayed real time traffic information on an in-vehicle navigation system. TTWN's parent company is iHeart Media Networks. * NAVTEQ provides data used in a wide range of applications, including
automotive navigation system An automotive navigation system is part of the automobile controls or a third party add-on used to find direction in an automobile. It typically uses a satellite navigation device to get its position data which is then correlated to a position o ...
s for many car makers. Most clients use Navteq to provide traffic reports in major metropolitan areas throughout North America. NAVTEQ partners with third-party agencies and companies to provide its services for portable GPS devices made by
Garmin Garmin Ltd. (shortened to Garmin, stylized as GARMIN, and formerly known as ProNav) is an American, Swiss-domiciled multinational technology Technology is the application of knowledge to reach practical goals in a specifiable and Repro ...
, Lowrance, NDrive and web-based applications such as Yahoo! Maps,
Bing Maps Bing Maps (previously Live Search Maps, Windows Live Maps, Windows Live Local, and MSN Virtual Earth) is a web mapping Web mapping or an online mapping is the process of using maps, usually created through Geographic Information Systems, geogra ...
, and
Nokia Maps Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia) is a Finnish multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications industry, telecommunications, technology company, information technology, and consumer electronics corporatio ...
.
XM Satellite Radio XM Satellite Radio (XM) was one of the three satellite radio ( SDARS) and online radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Holdings. It provided pay-for-service radio, analogous to subscription cable television. Its ...
and
Sirius Satellite Radio Sirius Satellite Radio was a satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Holdings. Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis, Sirius ...
use NAVTEQ data to show traffic information on navigation systems. NAVTEQ's media services was spun out to form Radiate Media in 2011, which subsequently merged with Global Traffic Network in 2016, forming US Traffic Network (USTN). *
Tele Atlas Tele Atlas is a Netherlands-based company founded in 1984 which delivers digital maps and other dynamic content for navigation and location-based services, including personal and Automotive navigation system, in-car navigation systems, and provi ...
, a subsidiary of
TomTom TomTom N.V. is a Dutch multinational developer and creator of location technology and consumer electronics. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom released its first generation of satellite navigation devices to market in 2004. ...
. delivers digital maps and other dynamic content for
navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the motion, movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowditch, 2003:799. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navi ...
and location-based services, including personal and in-car navigation systems, and provides data used in a wide range of mobile and Internet map applications. * Google Maps uses a variety of governmental and private traffic reporting organizations to provide information, along with its
Waze Waze (; he, ווייז, label=Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelit ...
subsidiary, which uses
crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing involves a large group of dispersed participants contributing or producing goods and services, goods or services—including ideas, Voting, votes, Microwork, micro-tasks, and finances—for payment or as volunteers. Contemporary ...
to provide observed traffic conditions.


References

{{Authority control Road transport Journalism