MIT's CarTel Project Could Reduce Commutes and Save Gas


CarTel? Not Exactly the Best Name...
The CarTel Project might sound like it is something that has to do with oil price-fixing, but it is in fact a distributed, mobile sensor network and telematics system designed by MIT.

The goal, in their own word, is to "minimize the amount of time you spend in your car." Read on for more details.
How CarTel Works
Tests are currently being done with about 50 cars in the Boston area (including 40 taxis). They can model traffic in real-time by tracking the speed of each vehicle, and the more data sources you have, the more accurate your model is. Once you have a model of what traffic looks like in the area, you can recommend alternate routes that, though they might be longer, will actually be faster.

Professor Hari Balakrishnan of MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has been testing the system and has already cut his commute to MIT by 25%. Not bad!

Finding Out What's Wrong With Your Car
Now it's not just car mechanics that have access to your car's onboard computer:

"CarTel is also linked to a vehicle's onboard diagnostics system (available in all cars sold since 1996), so a driver can check various parameters key to maintenance and be alerted to potential problems."

Another project that is a bit similar to MIT's CarTel is UCLA's Personal Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). Check it out.

The Future
This whole concept is simply a good idea, regardless of what form of transportation we use (old gas guzzler or electric car). Making our movements more efficient both saves energy and time.

Via MIT, CarTel
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Tags: Boston | Transportation | United States

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