The Truth About Cars » navigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:30:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » navigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com IBM Studies Navigation That Takes You Where The Advertisers Want You http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/ibm-studies-navigation-that-takes-you-where-the-advertisers-want-you/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/ibm-studies-navigation-that-takes-you-where-the-advertisers-want-you/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2011 20:08:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=413066

Quick, what’s the point of having a navigation system in your car? To get where you want to be going, right? Well, IBM has another idea: maybe instead of taking you where you want to go, navigation systems should be offering to take you where a paying advertiser wants you to go. Say, right past their shop, for example. Popular Science quotes from one of IBM’s patent applications

Conventional route planning systems determine optimal routes based on different preferred conditions, including minimizing travel time or minimizing the distance traveled. By focusing on optimal route determination, the known route planning systems fail to consider non-optimal routes whose presentation to travelers may have value to other parties.

So, it’s not quite to the point of your nav system saying “I can’t let you not pass a Starbucks, Dave,” but in the future your navigation could strongly suggest that, rather than going to the farmer’s market, you stop by the supermarket that happens to pay IBM the most.

PopSci explains

The system would work by collecting fees from retailers, which would then be used to assign a preferential weight for certain way points along a given route. IBM software would figure out a new route that incorporates that way point, and present it to the driver as the “recommended route.” This sub-optimal route couldn’t be too inconvenient — the patent application discusses limiting how far out of the way a recommended route could go — but it might not be the most direct route, nor the fastest. If the driver does actually take the fee-inspired route, then IBM could levy an additional fee for this successful misdirection.

Because sometimes it’s not best to focus on solely serving the end-user. Especially when “third party” firms will pay big money to redirect the hapless end-user to their products. It’s almost as if IBM has learned a thing or two from Automobile magazine

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Microsoft Mines Brains Of Chinese Taxi Drivers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/microsoft-mines-brains-of-chinese-taxi-drivers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/microsoft-mines-brains-of-chinese-taxi-drivers/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:21:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=373834

It’s a well-kept secret, which will give the willies to people who are (at least publicly) worried about intellectual property: Microsoft has one of their best R&D centers in China. Located in the silicone gulch in the north of Beijing, MSRA (Microsoft Research Asia) is working on advanced technologies, mostly in the visual area. I worked with them once, and they are NFSWing good. They just had another great idea: Why not mine the knowledge of cab drivers when it comes to proposing the best route on your in-car navigation system?

Navigation systems usually provide two types of directions: The shortest-distance route, and the route that is fastest based on the length of the road and typical vehicle speed. Some augment them with real time traffic information – with mixed results.

“When selecting driving directions, taxi drivers usually consider multiple factors including distance, traffic flow and signals, direction changes, and the probability of accidents,” Zheng Yu, a researcher at Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), told China’s Global Times.

So MSRA put GPS devices into more than 33,000 of the 80,000 Beijing taxis, and collected the data over three months.

“On average, 50 percent of our routes are at least 20 percent faster than the competing approaches,” says a report of by the MSRA. Earlier this year, an IBM survey had found that Beijing has the worst traffic in the world. At least Microsoft is doing something to get around it.

You are probably thinking the same as I did: What if all people suddenly know the hidden shortcuts? Microsoft thought of that as well. The taxi-based system, dubbed “T-Drive,” will dole out routes that try to balance the traffic.

Here’s an idea for MSRP: For their “T-Drive Ultimate,” I offer the data produced by a gizmo in my driver’s car. He (ab)uses bike lanes, bus lanes, takes shortcuts through hotel driveways, and sometimes goes down a one way street in reverse. I never missed a plane.

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