Feedsee Mobility : Travel Time : System for connected cars converts anonymous raw GSM signaling data into real-time actionable traffic data
In 2006, TomTom and Vodafone developed technology to convert anonymous, raw GSM signaling data into accurate, real-time, information on the speed and direction of cars traveling throughout the road network. The technology provided accurate, fast, and detailed pictures of actual travel times. The total investments were a fraction ofroad side equipment based solutions of the time. The service contained door-to-door travel time information rather than just the length of a traffic jam. It could accurately compare various alternatives for total travel time and could automatically calculate the best alternative.
Today, navigation software calculates travel time using a combination of data, algorithms, and predictive modeling. Here's a high-level description of how this process works:
- Route Determination: Initially, the software determines the route from the starting point to the destination. This usually involves using a shortest path algorithm, like Dijkstra's or A*, which factors in the distances between different points on the map. The software will often provide multiple route options - shortest, fastest, and alternatives.
- Real-Time Traffic Data: The software then factors in real-time traffic data, which it receives from various sources. These sources can include governmental traffic data, data from private traffic information providers, and crowdsourced data from users of the navigation app itself.
- Historical Traffic Data: Alongside real-time data, most navigation software also utilizes historical traffic data. This data provides a picture of how traffic conditions typically evolve throughout the day for any given route. For example, it can indicate whether a certain road is usually congested during rush hour.
- Speed Limit Information: The software also factors in the speed limit of each road segment in the determined route. This helps to estimate travel time in conditions with minimal traffic.
- Predictive Modeling: Some advanced navigation systems also use predictive modeling to estimate future traffic conditions. These predictions are based on historical data and real-time trends.
- Dynamic Recalculation: Once the journey has begun, the navigation software continues to monitor real-time traffic conditions. If it detects significant traffic buildup ahead or road closure, it can dynamically recalculate the route to minimize travel time.
- Travel Time Calculation: Finally, taking all the above factors into account, the software calculates the estimated travel time. It does so by adding up the time it expects you to spend on each segment of the route, given the speed limit, real-time traffic conditions, and any additional factors like road type and terrain.