Reuters: Mobile phone signals sent from traffic jams will enable a real-time travel information service, British telecoms group Vodafone and Dutch sat nav company TomTom said on Friday.
The service will be available in the Netherlands in the second half of 2007, using the Dutch Vodafone network.
Mobile phones continuously beam signals to their nearest base stations, which gives the network provider the approximate location of the phone. TomTom will use this location information to establish if roads are congested, if and by how much the trip will be delayed, and if alternative routes can be suggested.
Mobile phone penetration is more than 100 percent in the Netherlands, meaning that every person carries one or more mobile phones.
“The service provides a much more accurate, faster and more detailed picture of the actual travel times than current solutions. The total investments are a fraction of the current, road side equipment based solutions,” TomTom said.
Unlike current systems, the TomTom system would monitor all roads.
“This is an industry first,” Harold Goddijn, TomTom’s chief executive officer said in a statement. “We are looking forward to signing further deals with leading operators across Europe and the U.S.,” he added.
TomTom sells more than half of all standalone car navigation devices in Europe. In the third quarter it sold 1.2 million of its route finders.