We've seen fancy GPS systems that get real time traffic info from a permanent network of sensors like XM Traffic or MSN Direct. While that's all fine and dandy, XM or MSN service doesn't come cheap, and the data is limited by the size of the sensor network, along with whatever other sources of traffic info they use. Nokia figures, why rely on a fixed network of sensors, when almost every driver on the road has a cell phone that reports its position every few seconds? By analyzing the changes in positioning information from thousands of people on the road with Nokia phones, traffic trouble spots can spotted almost instantly, and then quickly delivered to other phone users.
In a recent test, 100 UC Berkeley students were given Nokia N95 phones specially equipped with tracking software, before they all headed out on a predetermined route to test the system. Alex Bayen, the lead UC researcher on the project, called it "a glimpse into the future of traffic information collecting and data processing." Personally, I just want to know if will help me to get across New York City to the long term parking at JFK, with plenty time to make my flight.
From CNET News