Traffic is, apparently, a hot button issue. First IBM came out with its Commuter Pain Index, a look at the cities with the world’s most painful commutes, and now Audi has released its Road Frustration Index, a real-time site that quantifies driver frustration in different parts of the U.S.
Developed as part of a partnership with the SENSEable City Lab at MIT, the Index takes four different factors into account: a weather index that weighs events based on driver visibility and weather severity, traffic (distance, time spent in delays), sentiment (searching for key words on Twitter like “traffic jam”), and road incidents.
Combine all these factors and you get an overall score. As I write this post, Sacramento is leading the Index, with a score of 79 out of 100 thanks to road delays and seven traffic accidents. Minneapolis-St. Paul has a score of just three out of 100–but there are some frustrated tweets in the area (“#Traffic on 169 NB is slow-moving. Travel time from Excelsior to Bass Lake Road is 27 minutes,” tweets MNCommuter).
The Road Frustration Index site is actually part of an ad campaign for the 2012 Audi A6, which is focusing on the theme of “making the road a more intelligent place.” But even non-Audi drivers may find the Index helpful in bracing for heavy commutes.