China: Microsoft project T-Drive tracks taxis to improve navigation routing

At the International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems in San Jose, Calif., Yu Zheng from Microsoft and a team of researchers presented their findings of their project, T-Drive, which followed taxicab routes in Beijing, China by analyzing GPS data from 33,000 taxis.

The results from T-Drive showed better results than 60% of similar directions from either Bing or Google Maps, shaving some 16% off the time of a trip.

By gathering information from over 30,000 Beijing cab drivers’ GPS data logs over a span of three months, they have created a new software program called T-Drive, complete with the capability to find real solutions to real street traffic situations.

The software can determine what the best route is at any given time based on the accumulated Beijing cabbies’ knowledge of congested areas and shortcuts. The T-Drive system doesn’t yet include real-time data such as accidents or new construction projects. This is something that the researchers say they can include in future versions of their system.

See Microsoft report here.

Source: Microsoft Research, Technology Review.

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