Uber tests its own traffic estimates as it moves beyond cars

Engadget

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.


Are we putting too many drivers onto our roads?

Los Angeles Times

To the editor: An article on Saturday highlighted the benefits to the newly licensed after the state allowed undocumented immigrants to drive legally. One is now logging up to 50 miles per day for her burgeoning business, and another other is driving to work instead of taking the bus. Another article describes a 43% increase in Los Angeles traffic fatalities in 2016, and another reports a drop-off in Metro ridership. Although I cannot make the case for a direct cause-and-effect relationship, the first article makes a strong case that the "landmark" licensing law has encouraged 850,000 people to start driving, to drive more or to eschew public transit. Although it may be gratifying to learn about improved convenience and economic outlooks for these people, one needs to consider the effect on overburdened roads, particularly as our Legislature has approved $52 billion in additional gas taxes and vehicle fees, and L.A. County voters opted to tax themselves more to pay to "fix" our transportation woes.


Technology could make traffic jams a thing of the past

#artificialintelligence

Estimates say Americans spent a collective 6.9 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2014. Which rounds to 42 hours per average citizen, per year, spent in traffic -- that's almost two days of sitting in your vehicle. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were over 6 million traffic accidents in 2015. To make matters worse, the number of accidents per year has only been going up, with a 5% increase since 2006. The cost for traffic-related incidents runs up to $2200 billion per year in developed countries worldwide.


LA area Port Traffic Mostly Unchanged in July

#artificialintelligence

Special note: Now that the expansion to the Panama Canal has been completed, some of the traffic that used the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will eventually go through the canal. This could impact TEUs on the West Coast in the future. Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported โ€“ and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic. The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container). To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.


Car can beat traffic lights?

FOX News

Audi announced today that in Washington D.C. and Las Vegas, select Audi Q7 and A4models will be able to take advantage of new vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. The technology was developed with Traffic Technology Services and will allow drivers to see how long it will take for a traffic light to change to green. Compatible traffic lights will send information through servers operated by Traffic Technology Services to properly equipped Audis. This may not sound like an earth-shattering feature at first, unless you're a stoplight drag racer โ€“ if Audi has its way, it may shut off the timer at about 10 seconds to prevent such a thing โ€“ but the technology opens up the door to much more useful features down the road. Audi's general manager for connected vehicles, Pom Malhotra, suggested that the information could be used with "vehicle navigation, engine start/stop functionality and can even be used to help improve traffic flow."