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Canadian city tracks drivers’ Bluetooth headsets to predict traffic jams

Excerpt from Wired

Dec 29, 2012 12:34 am

Skift Take

It’s impressive to see a city taking the time and money to offer innovative tech solutions to everyday travel problems as many of the currently available options are crowdsourced or privately built apps.

— Samantha Shankman

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epSos.de  / Flickr.com

Traffic jams are the norm during peak travel hours in Singapore (pictured), just like in most major cities around the world. epSos.de / Flickr.com


Bluetooth is good for more than silly headsets and wireless speakers. The city of Calgary, Alberta, is using the technology to give drivers real-time information about travel time during their commute.

The Travel Time Information System along Calgary’s Deerfoot Trail anonymously collects Bluetooth signals from mobile phones, headsets and other devices to estimate travel times and gauge congestion. Travel times are then displayed on electronic signs along the roadway.

A central server at the city’s traffic management center collects the data from 15 sensors and sends traffic info to seven roadside displays.

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