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BMW's navigation soln enhances real-time traffic info

Posted: 14 Feb 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ConnectedDrive  swarm intelligence  traffic info 

BMW is set to launch its next generation of traffic information system featured in its ConnectedDrive communications platform that utilises databases collected from a large number of roadside sensors as well as anonymized mobile phone and navigation system motion data, which will significantly improve traffic info quality fed into the on-board navigation system.

BMW's navigation system offering Real-Time Traffic Information system (RTTI) shall be available in the company's forthcoming models from autumn 2011, as an alternative to the continually available Traffic Message Channel (TMC). As TMC uses conventional traffic bulletins that are often already outdated when they are issued, RTTI shall access aggregated data from many sources including induction loops embedded in city streets and other roadside sensors collected in real-time. Apart from truck fleets operated by freight forwarders and taxis with navigation systems connected to a control centre, mobile phones carried in vehicles shall also forward data that indicate traffic jams or tailbacks.

Also incorporated into the data aggregation scheme are local authority traffic computers. This would allow drivers to obtain information about possible delays on ring roads and connection routes between cities. Such data aggregated by a service provider are transmitted in real time via the GSM cellular network.

Coloured road markings on the navigation map displayed in the control display of BMW's iDrive control system represent latest traffic flow. The corresponding traffic situation is displayed in four increments—from green for free traffic flow, yellow for slow-moving traffic, to orange for stop-and-go, and red for gridlock.

The analysed road network is divided into sections of 500m and updated every three minutes. This means that very precise data is provided on the length of queues and the resulting delays. Meanwhile, in order to use RTTI, the car must be equipped with the BMW Navigation System Professional including mobile phone preparation with Bluetooth interface. An active smartphone app is not necessary, according to BMW.

The company plans to introduce the service initially in France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

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