Solving bottlenecks in traffic navigation apps

Thanks to traffic navigation apps on our smart phones, getting lost while driving is practically a thing of the past.

The only problem is that these mobile apps may also be increasing traffic congestion in certain locations by directing vehicles to the same route. The cost, besides driver frustration, can run into billions of dollars annually in lost time and fuel consumption.

To counter this growing problem Cristian Borcea and his team at NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing are working on a new, scalable system, one that collects real-time traffic data from vehicles and roadside sensors and then pushes individually tailored rerouting guidance to drivers when signs of congestion are observed.

Several rerouting strategies evaluated by Dr. Borcea and his team cut average travel time by half or more when applied on congested road networks. Additionally, the system greatly increased user privacy as it is less reliant on drivers sharing their starting points, current locations and destinations with a central server.

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Cristian Borcea
Cristian BorceaProfessor, Ying Wu College of Computing

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