Go With The Flow - Trafficmaster Maps All The Best Ways From A To B

  • Trafficmaster develops a new picture of Britain, by its real road speeds
  • Four of top five quickest routes are in the Midlands
  • Data makes Sat Nav smarter in finding best route

The popular pub or dinner party debate around the fastest ways from A to B could be over. The question has been answered definitively by Trafficmaster, which has collated over 50 billion data records to map accurate average speeds for roads across the UK - the result is a new view of the country.

For the first time, customer data is helping Smartnav get even smarter. By combining data from Smartnav in-car navigation systems and its nationwide traffic sensor network, Trafficmaster can now find the quickest route by identifying roads at their real average traffic speeds, rather than relying on their speed limits.

In doing so, Trafficmaster’s mapping experts have identified those roads where traffic flows freely and those roads where traffic flow speeds are often much lower than the posted speed limit. This includes many country roads with speed limits of 60mph, but where traffic often moves much more slowly than that, because they are narrow with many sharp bends.

Trafficmaster has been able to identify the top five quickest routes in the UK by their real average traffic flow speeds* in a 24 hour period. Not surprisingly, all are sections of motorway with relatively low traffic density, four of the top five run through the Midlands.

Trafficmaster can also pinpoint the slowest routes in the UK, by the same average traffic flow speed measures, which can make it easy to avoid slow road sections and junctions. The slowest classified motorway is the short A601M spur that runs from junction 35 of the M6 near Carnforth in Lancashire, while the slowest A-road is the A818 near Loch Lomond in Scotland, a known tourist spot. The outright slowest classified A-road is the A4002 (Tubbs Road), which is actually a short suburban road in Harlesden, north London.

This work follows the findings of the recent Trafficmaster and RAC Foundation study into UK traffic congestion, which identified the UK’s commuter congestion hotspots and illustrated how using smart routes could save hours on the road.

Trafficmaster and the RAC Foundation believe the ability to navigate by real road speeds and around jams could help reduce congestion for all drivers and so reduce its environmental impact. Trafficmaster’s Smartnav customers already save an average of four hours a month on the road**, by avoiding jams and taking the best routes, equivalent to 300,000 working days each year.

Trafficmaster spokesman Philip Hale said: “When you need to get from A to B, the key is knowing which roads to use, and when, for the quickest journey.

“Obviously, you can’t tell this by looking at a map and most sat nav systems base their route calculations only on speed limits, but now we can get smarter, identifying the best routes by their real speeds and matching this with our congestion data, so we have proper local knowledge for the roads in your area, on top of being able to tell you where the jams are.”

29 May 2007 Staff

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