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New nav iPhone app tackles driver distraction problem


Date: Sunday, 28. February 2010

Aha Mobile, a new traffic app for iPhone, is built squarely on the idea of driver safety. It dispenses with maps and navigation directions to deliver only essential close-up route information.

The app features a simple dashboard that provides traffic congestion and incident information without the user having to search for it. At any given time, it displays only three wide bands of information.

If one of the bands is displaying the quickest route between those two places, it shows the current time to drive the route and whether it is badly congested (red), congested (orange), almost entirely clear (yellow) or completely clear (green). If you tap on the band you get alerts about traffic incidents on this road. The other two bands, meanwhile, might show alternative routes.

You select your destination before you drive and Aha updates the information about traffic conditions dynamically as you drive.

Aha Mobile also offers community features. Users can relay voice information about traffic and even leave more frivolous "shouts" which are carried in a separate part of the app for those not interested in off-topic shouts.

In addition the app can alert you to a nearby coffee shop or restaurant (supplied through integration with Yelp) or a restroom (through Sit or Squat).

The app is free, in part because it has bartered for most of its information. It gets traffic flow and incident information from providers like Inrix and Clearchannel, supplying them in return with inputs from its own users.

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Cool idea! Neat-o!


This is a great idea!

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