Soma's Blog

April 7, 2011

Test Users Wanted

Filed under: Research,Tech — somanov @ 20:20

Short Version

If you are interested in testing an innovative travel information service for mobile phones, please register as a test user and help support a research project I am currently working on.

(We currently support Java phones, Windows Mobile phones and the iPhone.)

Elaborate Version

With the emergence of services like google maps (bing maps, yahoo maps etc.) the world seems to get smaller by the minute. Detailed geographic information is just a a few clicks away. Planning a route to any possible destination has become a trivial exercise. Provided you are going by car.

If you are looking to travel by public transport however, things are not looking half as bright. Services like Google Transit poorly cover public transport route planning, especially in Europe (on this site most locations  in Europe are marked with “Transit layer only“. This means google only provides a static overlay with the most important transit lines, but does not offer journey planning). Admittedly there are a lot of reasons for that, and some of them are possibly not Google’s fault.  However the timetable data to perform public transport journey planning is usually readily available in the local area. And this is just the beginning: Public transport operators typically have detailed real-time information about delays and last-minute changes in their systems. And in many cases they would be willing to share.

Pretty much the same can be said about real-time traffic information (jams, delays, road blocks,etc): Communities like ITS Vienna Region are perfectly capable of providing high-quality traffic information for local areas, but this data is currently neglected in today’s route planners.

And here is where an ongoing research project I have been working on joins the game: The In-Time project pilots a pan-European approach to Real-Time Traffic and Travel Information  services. Six European pilot cities have agreed to share their real-time traffic information over a common interface. Demo applications have been developed which make use of the provided information and showcase the possibilities on a variety of mobile platforms. And the best thing about this is: the demo apps are free and we are looking for test users.

The In-Time demo is available for the regions Brno, Bucharest, Florence, Munich, Oslo and Vienna. It operates on Java phones, Windows mobiles and iPhones. The service helps you to plan trips by means of public transport, bicycle or car. It can show you the fastest way from one place to another by intelligently using real-time traffic information.

If you are interested in testing this travel information service on your mobile phone, please register as a test user. You will be asked to complete a questionaire before you are forwarded to the download site. The data in the questionnaire provides us with valuable feedback to  improve the services and polish our project results.

I would very much like to hear your feedback about the application and the project in general. Please keep in mind that the applications are still in beta state and we are in the process of squashing bugs and improving the overall user experience. Any kind of feedback for helping us to do so will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your support and enjoy using the In-Time application.

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