All this data, however, is meaning-less if it’s not analyzed and interpreted to extract knowledge that can be used by its consumer – the everyday driver. Modelling traffic using 15 years of experience, state of the art AI and machine learning is what does the trick here – especially when rapid changes happen, as was the case of last year’s border closures in the EU and US due to COVID-19.
Traffic models use historic data, contemporary data and real-time information to produce a new overview of traffic flows and incidents at the very latest every 30 seconds. In other words, every 30 seconds, TomTom’s algorithms take into consideration current and historic traffic and road speed profiles and process them to predict the likelihood of incidents and impacts on drive times.
When all this data is collected, analyzed and provided to drivers, they are provided with meaningful, actionable and reliable insights into the road ahead. It solves a very real challenge: How to navigate when faced with changing traffic conditions.
Think of the following example: a driver regularly travels from A to B. They travel at different times of the day year around. How can they ensure they’re always on time regardless of traffic?
Every time this journey is taken, TomTom’s traffic technology suggests a different solution based on the changing state of the roads traveled on. That solution will be built around three key elements: route planning, route selection, and route completion.
Route planning considers when the best time to leave will be. Even for routes planned weeks or months in advance. Scheduled events such as marathons, sports events or festivals that will affect traffic flows and travel times are also taken into consideration.
Route selection decides the optimal way to get from A to B. This ensures that the most appropriate roads are taken to guide drivers around traffic jams, road works and predicted delays to ensure smooth passage to the destination.
Route completion takes an active look at the conditions the current driver is experiencing while driving. Considering if they are still taking the best route and what can be expected ahead.
In this solution, TomTom technology constantly updates travel times and predicted delays to inform the driver and ensure they reach their destination with as little disruption as possible.
In all cases though, TomTom’s Traffic APIs can service a multitude use cases from mobile apps and in-dash navigation to traffic centers and infrastructure operators.
Technological development is also further contributing to making our roads safer, and with that the need for relevant, lane-granular, traffic incident information is increasing. One thing is for sure, for now, traffic is here to stay, but the burdens it creates can be eased by using location technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and the timeliness of every drive.