Culture: Website: Reference
Smart Driving Directions   (+6, -1)  [vote for, against]
Traffic congestion aware short cuts

Something like but aware of speed limits, number of traffic lights and stop signs. Maybe the premium service would factor in information from highway cameras.
-- zardoz, Jan 09 2002

Shell offers this service for European journeys. http://www.shellgeo...default.asp?Lang=en
They must include traffic lights, speed limits etc. because the estimated journey times are surprisingly accurate. [mcscotland, Jan 25 2002] [Aliwious, Jun 14 2002]

There is a system available in e.g. the Mercedes SLK right now that integrates a GPS-based road planner with real-time traffic data broadcast over the radio.

I think the speed limit on a street is a good predictor of its use for long distance travel; mapquest etc. already get that right. Does paying attention to stop signs and lights specifically really improve results that much?
-- jutta, Jan 09 2002

You betcha. There are long stretches where the posted speed of 35 mph will be slower than using shortcuts with posted speeds of 25 mph. While obeying traffic laws. I use every type of surface street to my advantage in L.A. and let the suckers sit at lights/signs I know how to avoid.
-- thumbwax, Jan 09 2002

What would be cool is if your car would REMEMBER how long it took you to get to various locations using the different paths you take, noting the time of day.

That way, it could tell you which path has the highest probability of getting you there faster. (It learns)

AND it could network with other cars to generate a collectively-learned best-route database of all trips that constantly evolves and updates.
-- seal, Jan 09 2002

This is actually a fantastic idea. HOWEVER surely the problem would be that it's self obsolescent, and self confounding.

Point being that if it's widely available, then the traffic that you'd normally want to avoid won't be there, because it will have been advised to take the shortcut too, which will of course become congested, so you'll be advised to take the "conventional route", which will then of course get congested.. I can't see how a reactive system can behave any other way... What it needs to do is predict traffic conditions in advance (not impossible if traffic is monitored further "upstream") .Otherwise I envisage myself phoning home to say

"I'm going to be late darling, I'm stuck in a paradox"
-- Gran Tade, Jan 25 2002

Gran Tade - Excellent annotation - keep it up - welcome to hb!
-- quarterbaker, Jan 25 2002

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's thought of this idea!

It would be fantastic for this info to be available in realtime in my car, PDA or cell phone, but I'd be happy just with a Yahoo or Mapquest-type service that factors in the time of day and average drive-time on the highways when giving estimated travel time.
-- mfreund, Dec 29 2004

random, halfbakery