A Little Bit of Everything I Love!

Traffic Apps Are Here!

There are now phone apps to navigate traffic! I think this is the greatest thing since the invention of coffee (and I’m being very serious)! I am one of those angry drivers that gets road rage when there is traffic and I’m in a hurry, which is most of the time.

The arrival of GPS-enabled cell phones has produced a series of applications to navigate traffic, many of them being free. You can get real time traffic by using one of these applications and here’s how it works: your GPS-enabled phone automatically sends bits of data messages to Waze, Inrix, Google Maps and other traffic app makers and they in turn show you where you are and how fast you are moving. Wouldn’t we all love this when traveling during high traffics times on I-90, 405, or 520! Since these applications are in real time, some of the apps allow users to report accidents, closed roads or construction. All the companies work together to combine their information and share this across networks. Michelle Higgins, a New York Times reporter and author of the story tested out the three apps that are free: Waze, Google Maps and Inrix Traffic to see which one worked the best on a long drive to Grandma’s house.

I was very interested to read what she thought about these three traffic apps because I am a habitual commuter and often find myself in traffic at 8:00 a.m. on my way to work and then again at 9:00 p.m. on my way home from school. Why are people still out at nine! Isn’t it bed time. It’s so frustrating to get on the freeway at this hour to see a bunch of red lights in the distance!

Higgins explained that, “Ultimately, none of the apps were as good as I had hoped. Yes, they all offered a decent snapshot of driving conditions with the flick of a finger. But deciphering that snapshot often left me squinting at my phone’s small screen.” I have only tried Google Maps and while I find it quite accurate and helpful I agree that it’s hard trying to keep one had on the wheel while figuring out how long I will be in traffic!

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