Driving efficiency

I have started to make more of an effort to remember the random conversations and ideas I have during the day, so that I can share them….

I was riding in the car with a classmate to our geriatric clinic rotation at the Laguna Honda Hospital, and we got to talking about GPS navigation and how newer systems are taking into account traffic levels to route people more effectively.

At some point during our discussion about traffic, he mentioned that he read around 30% of traffic in cities is due to delivery vehicles like UPS, FedEx, movers, and pizza. I am a firm believer that more data beats better algorithms; factoring in data on the routes and locations of delivery vehicles, would undoubtedly lead to better routes. I doubt many pizza delivery places have their fleet of cars networked with a GPS navigation system, but I pretty damn sure UPS, FedEx, and other commercial couriers do.

In many ways the present systems already measure this indirectly. They monitor current and/or historical traffic patterns and attempt to generate the best route. Although measuring outcomes is the easiest and most readily available method, supplementation with data on traffic’s causative factors would create a more forward looking model, and more accurately predict the best route.

I am waiting to see GPS navigation services integrate data on construction, parades, delivery vehicles, bicyclists (cars must slow and give them a safe distance), and pedestrians (prevent right and left hand turns if in crosswalk) into their models.

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