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IBM Working on a Cure for Gridlock Headaches


Those of you who spend too large a proportion of your day on the road might like to hear about IBM's latest proposals for thinning out traffic gridlock. Using advanced analytics, the company's scientists are developing systems that will intuitively learn traffic patterns and behavior in an attempt to improve safety and route information for commuters and transport agencies.

IBM's General Manager of the Public Sector, Gerry Mooney is convinced that his firm can solve a problem that seems to have defeated just about anyone since the U.S.'s road network became snarled up. "The data exists to give commuters and transportation agencies a better way to manage traffic, but today it's not connected."

Presumably, is envisioning a way to "task" cars on a second-by-second basis to go down particular routes—Square dancing for petrolheads, huzzah—which can mean only one thing. Sooner or later, we're all going to have to have Sat-Nav in our cars for the idea to really work.

IBM has plans for the system to link up road travel with other modes of transport—and, in the case of severe gridlock, will guide cars to train stations, indicate if there is available parking, and tell you whether the train is on time or not. Whether it will be able to adjust its chauffeur's cap, open your door, hand you your briefcase and wish you a pleasant day remains to be seen.

[Via IBM]

Top image: CC-BY-SA-3.0

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  • Guest

    Wouldn't a smarter way be to avoid designing cities where so many people need to drive cars? By designing cities around the principles of walkable urbanism, this kind of gridlock could be avoided before it happens. It seems wasteful, foolish, and not all that bright to be working on the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause of the problem itself.