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New Device Helps Drivers Navigate Through Traffic

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


New Device Helps Drivers Navigate Through Traffic

Paul Sisco
April 3, 2008

Duration: 1:36
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Everyone who drives knows about traffic and traffic jams. In today's searching for solutions report, VOA's Paul Sisco examines a technological innovation that can help commuters avoid agonizing delays in today's Searching for Solutions report.

Many cars now come with a GPS - or Global Positioning System. Drivers use the device to get where they want to go as quickly as possible. Several companies make a GPS, and one has added a new feature.

Mohit Chopra is testing Dash Express. The new GPS device helps him to navigate and shows him how to avoid traffic.

Dash representative Mark Williamson explains how to use the device. "If a car's struck in traffic, why can't it share that data with all of the other cars to help the other people? We are having cars talk to each other about traffic data," he said.

A driver's position and pace is transmitted to cell towers. When traffic slows, that information is beamed among drivers with the device.

Company officials say Dash Express is better than radio broadcasts, because it provides continuous real time information.

"The idea of it being really valid, really fresh, that's critical because in traffic, you're making changes maybe a few blocks, maybe a few [kilometers] ahead of the incident," says Brian Cooley, who reviews new products for CNET.com.

Dash costs about the same as other navigators, but there is a monthly fee. The fee, says Chopra, is more than covered by the gas and time he saves avoiding traffic delays.

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