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KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, will debut a new 3-D animated HD traffic report next week on its broadcasts as well as its Web site, Lasvegasnow.com.

The station and Web site will rely on Beat The Traffic, a traffic reporting system that will present viewers with real-time, 3-D animated HD maps with unique, recognizable landmarks. The 3-D maps include full-featured topography and easy-to-read roadway exits and signs.

The station has other uses for the system as well. For instance, it can collect historical traffic data and generate a “traffic forecast” for views. Additionally, it will be used for local breaking news mapping.

The real-time traffic maps are based on mapping imagery, waterways, roads and hand-built computer 3-D representations of landmarks recognizable to viewers. Based in Sunnyvale, Beat the Traffic partnered with Chyron corporation for the SDI video output of broadcast traffic reports.

Vehicle volume, speed and occupancy data is gathered by Wavetronix SmartSensors (right) installed along roadways or near traffic signals.

That data is delivered in real-time to the Command DataCollector, a data management system, and the Command DataTranslator, which translates the real-time traffic information into a data stream compatible with the BeatTheTraffic visualization system. That system then converts the data into 3-D graphical images depicting current traffic conditions.

TransCore, a traffic management system contractor, originally relied on video detection and magnetic traffic loops, but supplimented that system with Wavetronix SmartSensors, connected via wireless and Ethernet connections.

New Toyota cars in Japan will have up-to-date roadmap and traffic information. The basic service, G-Book mX, which uses a cell-phone connection, is free. The driver needs to buy navigation equipment and pay the phone bill.

The more advanced G-Book mX Pro with an on-board data-transmission device, costs 12,000 (US$100; euro75) a year. GM charges its 2-million plus OnStar users $200 USD per year after the initial year of free service runs out. Satellite radio providers Sirius and XM are also going after live traffic reports.

Online traffic maps with Accuweather are available for 21 metropolitan areas, including: Anaheim, Anchorage, Atlanta, Chicago, Fresno, Gary, Los Angeles, Macon, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St Paul, Modesto, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tacoma.

Accuweather provides paying customers in media, business, government and institutions out of State College, PA, “home to the greatest number of forecast meteorologists in one location anywhere in the world”.

Baron Services provides Doppler radar systems that can view reflectivity and velocity in 256 color levels. The imagery from Doppler radar is combined in their display solutions like FasTrac.

Air traffic control and the National Weather Service also use Doppler Radar. Weather.gov, run by the National Weather Service, was proposed for termination by Senator Rick Santorum, whose Pennsylvania constituency includes the major commercial weather provider Accuweather. The move failed, explains WikiPedia; Senator Santorum lost his 2006 midterm election.

Finalists for the 2007 Telematics Awards include:
2007 Newcomer Award

Best Embedded Telematics Navigation Product:

Best Portable Device Application:

Best Portable Navigation System:

Navteq provides data used in a wide range of applications, including automotive navigation systems and web-based applications, such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps and MapQuest.

Its main rival, Dutch company Tele Atlas, provides maps covering 64 countries around the world and dynamic content for navigation and location-based services, including in-car navigation systems and mobile map applications. BMW’s vehicle navigation systems will contain Tele Atlas maps starting in 2008.

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