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Consumer Electronics Authors: Dana Gardner, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz

Related Topics: Consumer Electronics, Wireless Technology Magazine, Mobile Phones

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Phantom Jams to become a thing of the Past

Phantom Jams on SatNav systems look set to become a thing of the past with a new service that combines SatNav and Mobile Phone technology. In essence the new service allows drivers to view real-time images of traffic hotspots and will direct them towards alternative routes.

 The new service was shown last week by Dutch Satnav heavyweight TomTom and looks set to be made available in Britain early next year.  

How does it work?  Well like all clever idea it is actually pretty simple.  It relies on the signals from mobile phones to assess where the phone is and how fast it is moving.  Crunching this data allows for the most accurate picture yet of what is happening on the roads.  Vodafone are the mobile partner with TomTom for this service.

Any information picked up in this way is relayed to the SatNav device located in the vehicle and in analysing movement patterns in this way  is able to determine which cars are moving freely and therefore where traffic hotspots are in realtime, which can be shown directly on the SatNav device.

Although many existing SatNav systems purports to offer traffic statistics, including TomTom themselves , the data is not real-time and is often out of date. 

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