Real-time Traffic Maps
Yahoo announced the availability of its integrated traffic-sensing and mapping system. Using a variety of sources, the main arteries of a city can be overlaid with real-time traffic data, color-coded to indicate clear sailing (green) down to 'don't bother driving this way' (red). Plainly put, this is cooler than 'Free Belvedere Martini Night' at the local Strip Club (jes' kiddin', honey!).
Can't you just imagine a day -- coming soon to a dashboard near you -- where you won't even have the choice to include a dedicated Navigation system in a new car? You'll either have the Auto/Internet package or not. If you purchase the A/I package, an on-board GPS system will be integrated with the car's browser, giving you a much more flexible and powerful navigation system that would include real-time traffic data and routing.
And not only will there be no need for proprietary, limited nav systems... there'll also be no separate OnStar-style emergency service link. Everything will be integrated under the aegis of an "Auto/Internet" package with a monthly charge.
High-speed links like Verizon's wireless broadband service will be utilized -- on a more standard computing platform -- and will enable a hybrid set of closely-tied services: Internet browser, Navigation+Traffic system, OnStar emergency services, etc.
Plus it'll read your email to you, which will be the big win for the Internet-addicted.
Yahoo Map overlaid with Real-Time Traffic