About the only thing I hate more than being stuck in traffic is being cut off by some idiotic driver who is yakking away on his or her cellphone and, thus, isn’t paying attention to the road. It might then surprise you to know that I’d actually like to see more cellphones being used by drivers, in part, because they might lead to the need for states to build fewer roads. (Yes, you heard me right, fewer roads.)
To understand this counter-intuitive logic, I’d refer you to this article in today’s Technology Review entitled ”Tracking Traffic with Cell Phones.” It explains how data from cellphones can be retrieved from people’s cellphones (in a manner which doesn’t violate their privacy) but can then be used to provide real-time traffic data.
If drivers can then use this real-time data to adjust their driving habits it is entirely possible that traffic congestion will be lessened and states won’t need to build more roads. Instead they only need to unlearn their dependence on new road construction and figure out how to use existing roads more efficiently.