a kind of user generated content: The ADAC
(Germanys biggest Automobile Association, similar to the AA in the U.K. or AAA
in the USA) has a program where members can report traffic jams to the ADAC. So
far, participating members had to report traffic jams via phone but now, the
offers a Windows Mobile client where participating traffic jam reporters can
press a button as soon as they reached a traffic jam and pressing the button
again as soon as they left them. The ADAC will calculate the length and expected
delay afterwards. This application works with all GPS-equipped Windows Mobile
smartphones and data are transmitted via GPRS/UMTS.
The ADAC will afterwards match the received information with information from
the Police and self-collected information and the traffic jam list can be
accessed afterwards via phone, web or WAP.
While this is a great idea to enhance ADAC's "Staumelder" system, there is a
real problem the ADAC should be aware of as nobody else: In Germany it's
strictly forbidden to touch a mobile phone while operating a car, doesn't matter
if you drive or standing still. In a recent judgment, a German court even banned
the use of navigation software on mobile phones (while you are still allowed to
use PMN's like TomTom because these devices are not mobile phones but PMNs
(makes sense, no?)) as long as you are operating the car.
So if I touch my smartphone during my drive, even if I'm stuck in a traffic jam,
I incur a penalty!
Nevertheless, I definitely like the idea to combine mobile data and GPS in
such a smart way to make available services better. Unfortunately the law isn't
Cheers ~ Arne