The California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) has chosen Navteq to provide ITS technology applications to California roads. The $2.9 million award, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, is part of Caltrans’ $12.9 million Safe Trip-21 program.

Navteq, a supplier of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, will help deploy Caltrans’ Connected Traveler program, designed to reduce gridlock, improve safety and enhance public transportation services. The program aims to accelerate the implementation of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) using consumer mobile devices. Currently, the program is testing collection of real-time traffic data using mobile devices, commercial and transit vehicles enabled with collection technology and implementation of in-vehicle alert functionality.

“Congestion and congestion-related problems are some of the largest issues faced by state DOTs as well as the traveling public,” said Caltrans chief deputy director Randell H. Iwasaki. “This phase of Safe Trip-21 is a quantum change in traffic information services because it involves drivers as part of the solution by transforming them, via their GPS-enabled mobile phones, into sources of traffic data.”

Navteq will collect data from GPS-equipped Nokia phones used by several thousand volunteers traveling within a 200-mi. radius of the Bay Area. The data will be integrated with other Navteq data sources and distributed back to the volunteers via their phones. The data will also be distributed to personal navigation devices and in-vehicle systems.

Navteq will also provide specific roadway signage attributes such as speed limits, highway exit information, and incident information. The objective of the project is to advance the development of a VII system, which uses WiFi and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) to alert drivers of potentially unsafe conditions.

The Safe Trip-21 technology will be on display at the 15th Annual World Congress on ITS, which takes place November 16-20, 2008 in New York City.

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