The UK Highways Agency is considering using mobile location information from the cellular network to monitor traffic flows. It’s described here. The system would be supplied by Itis Holdings, which already does software to monitor and predict traffic and seems to be a jolly important company in the sphere – shameful that this is the first time that I have heard of it, really.
The positioning information would be anonymised. The article doesn’t say whether all the mobile network operators would provide the data – Vodafone already does something similar for TomTom in a number of countries. The technology is already deployed in Singapore.
The article doesn’t say what the Highways Agency plans to use the data for. It could be part of a real-time traffic management system, which would help to reduce congestion and therefore, by extension, energy consumption and carbon emissions; or it could be for planning purposes. Anyone know any more?