Hobbies: Ideas & Inventions

 


Traffic Routing Service

Summary

A system is described that would offer optimal routing directions to drivers on local roads and highways.  Subscribers would be equipped with a transponder that contained a GPS device and would communicate with a local hub.  Communications would use packet radio services provided by local cell phone providers.  After the driver enters the destination and any waypoints into the system, the optimal path would be calculated and directions would be conveyed to the driver.  The local hub would recommend the optimal path based on prevailing traffic conditions and congestion points.  Each hub could manage traffic for a medium sized city and would hand off control to an adjoining hub when the vehicle exits its zone.  Traffic conditions would be gathered by traditional methods and also by information deduced by the movement of vehicles that subscribe to the system.  Thus, the quality of routing service would improve as more subscribers join the system.

Unfortunately, someone else has already thought of this idea and has patented it.  I don't know why they haven't developed this idea further....

Overview

The system is composed of the following major components:

-         Transponder terminal

o       Display & Keypad

o       Integrated GPS system

o       Integrated data communications capability (EVDO, GPRS, etc.)

o       Optional voice interface

o       Emergency 911

-         Local Hub

o       Data base containing current traffic data

o       Algorithms

§         Traffic trending

§         Routing

§         Anomalous data rejection

§         Traffic Sensing

§         Inter hub Handoff

o       External interfaces

§         Web based real-time traffic reports

§         Alerts to traffic management authorities (police, etc.)

-         Communications system

o       Cellular Packet radio (EVDO, GPRS, Satellite Radio…)

o       Vendor independence

-         Traffic Sensing channels

o       Speed sensors on highways

o       Data from transponders

o       User reports

o       Arial Cameras

Transponder Terminal

The Transponder Terminal acts as the main user interface.  It has the following primary functions:

v     Form factor

The device can range in size and shape from a car mounted system, to USB device attached to a laptop, to a cellular phone. 

v     The Display and Keypad

The display and keypad allow the user to enter destination and way point information, and to update their route preferences during transit.   It also allows the user to perform administrative functions, access and update subscriber account information, and set preferences. 

v     The GPS receiver

GPS is always on and always transmits position and speed data

v     Wireless Communications

v     Optional Voice interface

Local Hub

Subscription Levels

  • Vehicle monitoring service only
    • No directions or traffic reports
    • Provides periodic movement reports to subscriber
  • Traffic reports& directions, without retaining Subscriber information
  • Traffic reports & directions, with Subscriber Preferences & Dislikes
    • Preferred Routes
    • Preferred traffic conditions (avoid stop & go)
    • Preferred driving speed (prefer high speed, low speed, …)
  • Billing Preferences
    • Flat rate
    • Usage based, depending on number of trips
    • Usage based, depending on journey time
    • Snapshot query of best route

Privacy issues

  • Anonymous prepaid subscribers
  • Protect subscriber travel history
  • Protect subscriber traits
    • Speeding
    • Preferred routes
    • Presence at specific locations at specific times

User Experience

  • Subscription
  • Configuration
  • Starting a journey
  • During a journey
    • Behind the scenes
  • End of journey
    • Configure preferences
    • Store route

Previous Patents