Collaborating Authors

Uber tests its own traffic estimates as it moves beyond cars


Uber has used Google traffic data to estimate conditions in the past, but the company is now trying to go its own way. The ridesharing firm told TechCrunch that it's expanding a previously low-key test that relies on its own traffic data. Fire up the passenger app (it's already in use by all drivers) and you'll see a color-coded representation of traffic along your potential route, calculated both through historical trip info and real-time info from drivers' phones. The company has already been sharing its data with city officials since 2017, but that was to help with urban planning efforts. A spokesperson wasn't shy about the main reason for the experiment: it's about making an informed choice about your method of transportation, including when you'd be better off using a bike or scooter.

Very good dog waits for traffic light before crossing the street


Please do your best to ignore the annoying music plastered over this great video of a very good dog obeying traffic laws. While stray Russian dogs have been documented using Moscow's complex subway system, a dog was recently spotted in the country obeying traffic laws. In the clip, a dog walks up to a crosswalk and patiently waits until the light turns green before calmly crossing the street. The best part is that right as the dog walks up, a human seizes the opportunity to cross the street before the light changes and jaywalks across the street. Apparently you can't teach an old human basic traffic laws.

Canadian air traffic controllers send pizza to U.S. colleagues working without pay


That includes air traffic controllers, like those working in the New York Air Traffic Control Center, who, while they're still waiting for their paychecks, received a tasty symbol of solidarity from their colleagues across the Canadian border. SEE ALSO: Jimmy Kimmel gives federal employees work during Trump's shutdown Canadian air traffic controllers from the Atlantic province towns of Gander and Moncton ordered pizzas for the crew working at the control center in Ronkonkoma, Long Island on Friday, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Pointed out by the news outlet, a notice was posted up in the hallway of the centre heralding the arrival of 32 pies courtesy of the Canadian Air Traffic Controller Association (CATCA). An image of the notice was posted to Reddit by David Lombardo, a former air traffic controller at the Long Island center, and was posted by other employees on Twitter. Thank you to @CATCA5454 for your generosity!

Waze will provide its traffic data to US cities


Waze's real-time, crowdsourced info will soon do a lot more than help you avoid traffic jams. The Google-owned company is widening a partnership with Esri to provide its live alerts for free to American cities and municipalities that are part of its Connected Citizens Program. The move gives officials up-to-the-minute info they can use to make key decisions about road infrastructure. If many drivers report crashes at an intersection, that could lead to better signs or a change in the roads themselves. It costs nothing for cities to sign up for the program, and they can start using the data right away.

Teaching Machines to Direct Traffic through Deep Reinforcement Learning


The dreaded time of day when traffic conditions seem bent on making you late. As your car slowly creeps in line behind countless others stuck at a stop light, you think to yourself, "Why aren't these lights changing faster?" Traffic control scientists have long tried to solve this signaling problem. Unfortunately, the complexity of traffic situations has made the job extremely hard. A recent study suggests that machines can learn how to plan traffic signals just right to reduce wait times and make traffic queues shorter.