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Transportation and Technology

Techstination feature for Friday, August 3, 2007

Transportation and technology. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. IBM is hoping to turn traffic congestion and travelers' travails….into a variety of new businesses. The company has announced new innovations that it says have the potential to change the way people travel. For instance says IBM's general manager of travel and transportation Marty Salfen …

"If you're waiting for a bus, you'll be notified that a bus is late, how long it will be at a particular location. Those kind of technologies are available now. Think of sensors in the car that will tell you if a car is coming too close …your wheel may vibrate. If you're about to change lanes and there's a car there. That technology is probably two to five years away."

Beyond that….IBM is working with governments…including New York City…to use technology to implement what is called congestion pricing…

"We're doing a couple of tests in major cities where we're doing congestion charging, where during peak hours the technology is there to read license plates and charge drivers for being in a certain area at a certain time. So not only does that relieve congestion, but also helps the environment. And think of it as the next future of a toll tag or a toll charge."

Salfen says it is already being used in Stockholm…..where the system has reduced traffic congestion by about twenty percent. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.