American corporation Google has extended the coverage of its real-time traffic data to Romania, with information available in the first phase for Bucharest and stretches of the European road E81 (Bucharest, Pitesti, Sibiu, Sebes, Turda, Cluj-Napoca, Zalau, Satu Mare, Halmeu), which connects the capital city with the country’s most north-western point.
Traffic information is available both on computers connected to the Internet and on smartphones or tablets, at the address maps.google.com or via dedicated applications.
The real-time information provided by Google about traffic conditions in Bucharest and the segments of the European road E81 – displaying congested stretches with red and freely drivable portions with green – does not rely on data provided by the authorities or on video monitoring data, but exclusively on data collected and processed by the company from the smartphones of the users at those sites, who have an active GPS module and the Google Maps application running, shows information provided by the company.
Under these circumstances, the company’s application will not show a traffic jam with no, or just few active Google Maps users in the car queue.
„Traffic information is collected from users who use Google Maps or Google Maps Navigation on their mobile terminals,” company officials told daily Ziarul Financiar.
„We continuously combine this data and send it back to you for free in the Google Maps traffic layers. It takes almost zero effort on your part just turn on Google Maps for mobile before starting your car and the more people that participate, the better the resulting traffic reports get for everybody,’ Google says.
Google Android is the most widely used operating system for smartphones in Romania. However, the Google Maps app is also available for other smartphones, like Apple iPhone.
This year, the local smartphone market is estimated at more than one million units, as to 600,000 last year.