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System for using vehicle route data to verify traffic information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030623D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article describes a system and methods by which real time traffic flow information gathered from devices in vehicles could be used to ratify and update information on incidents and congestion on the road network. The system uses expected behavioural patterns associated with different incident types to assess actual information gathered from vehicles travelling through the area of the incident to work out whether the incident remains current, has moved location at all or completely disappeared. The information can also be used to predict the onset of incidents, again by comparing vehicle movement data gathered from on-board devices and matching it with signatures of incidents known to affect traffic flow such as accidents or roadworks.

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System for using vehicle route data to verify traffic information

There are a number of sources of road traffic information available currently, some utilising electronic roadside or vehicle mounted sensors to record traffic flow, and others based on more traditional sources such as the emergency services and radio broadcasts. Most of these sources reference and cooperate with each other to try and give drivers a consolidated view of a constantly changing situation, but this is largely achieved manually, and hence is subject to problems of information currency and communications breakdowns.

    The solution herein attempts to add another source of information into the system, with a view to spotting these inaccuracies and automatically overriding them.

    Current solutions fall into both the automatic and manual solution categories. An automatic solution can be provided by the roadside sensors which can detect when traffic flows return to normal and hence could force an override of any information that still might be in place for that area. The obvious drawback is that if no sensor is present in a traffic trouble spot then no such detection is possible. The manual solution relies on motorists contacting one of the various agencies and reporting that an incident has now cleared. Few motorists do this and even if they do, the agency may not pass on the information to other motorists.

    In the solution herein, information on the actual movement of vehicles through the area of a traffic incident can be used to determine whether the incident is still current.

    The advantage of this simple approach is that a check and balance is put in place against information that may or may not have been automatically generated, which can be used to automatically alter the detail of the information to represent a dynamically changing situation, or to completely remove that information should the vehicle data suggest that there is no longer a problem in that area.

    No manual intervention is needed in this solution, removing the opportunity for human error and giving the consumers of the traffic information a much greater level of confidence in that information being accurate in the first place.

    In this solution a classification is assigned to types of traffic information, which add to existing information about location of the problem and type of incident by providing a profile of what type of behaviour is likely to be expected of a vehicle travelling through the area affected by the incident. For example, if an accident had caused a lane closure on a motorway then the profile might suggest that a vehicle would begin to slow at a point 2 miles prior to the incident, and then might experience speeds between 0 and 20 mph over the mile leading up to the positi...