Live traffic info


Yahoo just announced that they now have live traffic information on their mapping service:

In a milestone for Internet-based traffic services, Yahoo! has beefed up its existing mapping services to allow customers to plot a route from one local destination to another, and overlay traffic data such as road speeds and potential delays.
(via cnn.com)

When you live in a city like Brussels, you know how unpredictable and unnerving traffic can be. Here in Belgium we also have some services that give up-to-date traffic info:

  • radio1.be gives some info on Brussels and Antwerp in text-format (not much really)
  • verkeerscentrum.be gives an map of Flanders and traffic condition for the main arteries
  • vab.be shows the traffic map info of the whole of Belgium, based on police information.
  • wegeninfo.be also gets info from the Federal Police and show it in a blog-like text-way (reverse chronological).


In France they have something much better: on parisrhinrhone.com they have 10 webcams watching the Paris/Lyon/Dijon motorways and anyone can see the live feed. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!

William Beaty has his theory on how defensive driving helps solve traffic congestion.

That’s the whole point. We WANT people to merge ahead of us before that other lane comes to an end. If I fear that someone will leap into the space ahead of me, or if this makes me resentful or angry, then I close up ranks and prevent everyone from merging. If I try to become the “vengance police” and punish the cheaters who zoom ahead, then I close up ranks and stop all merges. Closed ranks create traffic jams. “Cheaters” don’t trigger traffic jams, it’s the people who try to punish the cheaters who do it.
Lane-jumpers are not the real problem. Traffic jams are commonly caused by people who attempt to punish the lane-jumpers by eliminating all spaces! In the merge-jam animations, the goal isn’t to maintain the empty space under any circumstance. The goal is to ALLOW PEOPLE TO MERGE AHEAD OF US! Closing up the ranks is what produces that jam in the animation.
(from amasci.com)

To see an accurate simulation of how a traffic jam is born at an highway entry, check the Martin Treiber java application.

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