On Monday Nokia, NAVTEQ and UC Berkeley will launch the Mobile Millennium project which will use GPS data from thousands of cell phones to gather traffic information in the San Francisco Bay Area. By having users relay and access the information, it will enable them to find and avoid traffic congestion, similar to the Dash Express GPS system. I'd participate, but I wonder how much researchers would benefit from my daily commute from bed to kitchen table.In order to get the needed information, the project uses a Java program that participants can download onto their phone.Traffic is then calculated using an algorithm researchers have developed. The software is eventually expected to work on most GPS-enabled phones on GSM networks. The project will not require many users, but does require them to be spread out for better results. Mobile Millennium plans to post the data it receives on the Web, but users who have the Java software will be most up-to-date. Luckily, for all the privacy-seekers, the information culled will be kept anonymous. Because the software uses a lot of data, only users with unlimited data plans are advised to sign up because you certainly don't want to end up with a $218 trillion phone bill. [Mobile Millennium via IT World]
The thing you'll have to realize when one route is identified as congested, all people aren't going to the same place at the same time and a system like this would then realize the congestion on alternate routes and adjust an individual accordingly.