Buried in Apple's statement on how the iPhone tracks a user's location data, the company admitted it was collecting anonymous location information to create a "crowd-sourced traffic database" that will be part of a future "improved traffic service."
The thing is, there's already a traffic service on the iPhone, provided by Google. If a user launches the Maps app and selects "Show Traffic," the map overlays colors on roads that show traffic congestion. Google gets the traffic data by—surprise!—crowd-sourcing it, aggregating information from Google Maps users who have approved the app for location services on their mobile devices.
Apple's statement reveals that the company is working on its own version of such a service. Whether that service will be something that Apple will use to improve traffic in Google Maps, or if Apple will launch a competing maps app, or something else entirely isn't known. Apple didn't respond to multiple requests for comment on the topic.
When people speak of social networks, a lot of the conversation these days is focused on Facebook and Twitter, but in the business world, LinkedIn is where the action is. Today, the business social networking site has started offering a "Share" button to web publishers, very similar to the one already available from Facebook. The new button allows readers to share content from sites they visit with their LinkedIn connections. Several button sizes and options are available for publishers to choose from. Competition in the sharing area is of course very high, with many sites already offering Facebook, Digg, and Twitter buttons. It's unclear if many sites will jump in and add LinkedIn sharing links, or if those will remain confined to the business world.
Read More | LinkedIn
What do you do when you see a bus in the middle of the road? Drive through it, of course! Try that in America and you won’t be around to see the results, but China may have the answer.
The Chinese engineer firm, Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, is hard at work on a new transportation system, called the ‘3D Express Coach’, that will allow road traffic to drive straight through their buses. This new bus design comes as a result of high traffic that has plagued China for some time now, to which the firm claims the 3D Express Coach will cut down on by 30 percent. The bus travels around 37 mph, and can transport over 1400 passengers.
Furthermore, to keep the risk of accident down, the 3D Express Coach will have alarms for cars travelling too close, or to signal when the bus is turning. As well as inflatable escape ladders à la the ones aboard airplanes to assist during emergencies. Construction on the 3D Express Coach will start later this year, with a pilot scheme in Beijing’s Mentougou District beginning in the meantime.
We were surprised when we learned that electronic road signs are easily hackable. This is because the usually locked access panel is often left unprotected. Even more surprising is that the site iHacked tells you exactly how it is done with step by step instructions. They then caution,
*** WARNING - YOU SHOULD NEVER TAMPER WITH THESE SIGNS ***
Hmm. Isn’t that a bit like posting details on how to build a bomb and then saying that it is for informational use only?
Read More | iHacked
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is testing a fake speed bump to see if drivers will slow down. The optical illusion looks like a 3-D pyramid when seen from a distance. The first experiment in Phoenix seemed to work until drivers realized that there were no barriers. This time the NHTSA will run a larger test in a Philadelphia residential area, hoping that they will reduce pedestrian accidents. The markers only cost $60.00 to $80.00 apiece as opposed to real speed bumps which can run $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. At least they are acting reasonably about the devices that they realize will probably have only the same effect as flashing lights.
Read More | CNN
We keep waiting for the price of GPS receivers to get down to a decent price so that we can stop getting lost. The Refurbished TomTom GO 510 might be the answer. It has a 4-inch screen, a built-in light sensor, hands free usage with Bluetooth, iPod control, and a home dock. It speaks in 36 languages even if you only need one and you can get a one month free trial for traffic reports and road conditions. The Go 510 can be yours for the incredibly low price of $149.00. Not a bad deal for a device that retails new around $400.00. By the way, it comes with a year warranty if you have misgivings about investing in a device that isn’t new.
Read More | Tiger GPS
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
We caught up with Technocom to talk about their Vehicle and Infrastructure Integration, which allows vehicles to integrate with both the road infrastructure as well as other cars. The hope is that the technology will both reduce traffic congestion and reduce auto accidents. Vehicles would be fitted with a custom Technocom console, or it would be built-in to a standard GPS device, and all of a sudden your driving world would be willed with different safety alerts so that you are kept on your toes about driving conditions and hazards.
Econolite is one of the leading manufacturers of traffic light technology. Frank Provenzono of Econolite chats with us about the technologies that drivers normally take for granted, and tells us all about how traffic lights work and some of the more advanced things that traffic lights can do based on different traffic patterns. It all comes down to some pretty interesting stuff, as Frank helps detail exactly what technologies are in play at a busy intersection, for example.