6 December 2017

New real-time ACT Traffic app to guide you to your destination faster

| Ian Bushnell
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Traffic lights Canberra

Better than a GPS: The ACT Government has launched an app that detects congestion on the road to provide you the best alternate route to your destination.

Drivers now have their own personal navigator to help steer them to their destination using the best available, least congested route.

A new mobile phone app called ACT Traffic provides audio alerts and other information about congestion on the road network in real time.

It relies on a series of Bluetooth enabled detectors located across the arterial road network to establish the travel time along sections of road, then compares this to historical data for the same time of day and day of the week to identify areas where congestion is worse or if traffic is flowing better than usual.

Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said the new app would save motorists travel time by helping them navigate a faster route to their destination.

“A similar system was introduced on the Adelaide road network in 2015 and has helped to make journey decisions easier,” she said.

When approaching an area with unusual congestion, an audio alert will be sent to your mobile phone advising the location of the delay and expected duration.

“By providing an audio alert, the app allows drivers to make informed decisions regarding route selection to potentially avoid the congested area. The use of an audio alert ensures that the application is not a distraction to drivers making it safe to run in the background while driving,” Ms Fitzharris said.

She said the system would help balance traffic loads across the road network by providing information in advance about hazards or delays ahead so an alternative route could be taken.

“Our new travel time information system, coupled with a modern public transport network that includes buses and light rail, will help tackle congestion, take cars off the road and make it easier to move around our beautiful city,” she said.

The app is available on Apple phones running iOS 8.0 or later and on Android phones running Android 4.3 or later. Visit the TCCS website at www.tccs.act.gov.au to download the app.

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Is the live traffic also available live streamed off their website? Why only an App for phones /devices. (Apps – the sole purpose of which is to gather your personal data.)

Don’t the Australian road rules say that the use of a phone in a car as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in permanently fixed commercially designed holder and that other functions such as video calls, texting and emailing are prohibited. Surely that means using Apps to get traffic updates must be illegal?

Apps on phones mean people are looking at their phones in the car which is ILLEGAL.

An app to get you speedily on your way with a little present from mobile or fixed cameras a couple of days later, personally delivered to your letter box.

This App is another example of an ACT Government good idea, but hopeless implementation and only a half baked solution. I imagine it cost the ACT Government a fair wack to design and implement for only a negligible improvement for road users.

The App doesn’t allow you to set a Destination for routing and warn you of delays on the journey you are about to undertake. It doesn’t allow you to set and store Home and Work locations and regular departure times to aid in the tool to check routing or warn you just as you start your journey .

The app doesn’t provide a routing service that takes into account localised traffic, accident and roadwork information. This would be actually be a useful tool if it utilised the kind of traffic information that Google Maps has and added extra information about Canberra that traffic and road network not available to the standard Australian routing services.

An app that warns me about a current traffic issue I am sitting amongst is of much less value than an App that warns me of a potential slow trip and guides me to an alternative faster and more suitable route.

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