… when I suggested last year that everyone having an iPhone with the TomTom app installed could solve traffic problems.
Imagine that we all had this in our cars. Imagine also (and I know this might be a stretch) that we all entered our route plans into the iPhone and those plans were uploaded into the cloud. Then all of this information could be aggregated and the ‘optimal’ route for each of us worked out so that traffic was minimised. We would then receive directions based on the centrally coordinated route and all be better off for it.
Now, for this to work, a sufficient number of people would have to have an iPhone or equivalent. I’m not sure what the sufficient number is (it is probably less than 100%). Now you wouldn’t be compelled to follow the instructions handed to you but if it was meaningful you would follow them anyway as it will likely make you at least weakly better off by doing so. That is, the routes handed down could be incentive compatible and also update in real time as others came into and out of the mix.
The point is that iPhone adoption (and consequent buying in to the centrally controlled traffic system) would involve positive externalities and hence, there would be a prima facie case for public subsidisation of them.
Read the comments to that post to see how much pushback I had on this idea.
In the future, when 10% of drivers use TomTom’s HD Traffic™ navigation system there will be what experts are calling a ‘collective effect’. Essentially, our road networks will start to balance out and we will reduce traffic congestion for everyone.
Well may I say, “ha”!