The anonymous mobile phone position and signaling data in China Mobile’s GSM Network are collected, analyzed, and converted into travel time and speed information for major highways and surface streets in Shanghai. The current system collects cellular data from 10 million China Mobile subscribers in Shanghai, and covers all the roads within the Inner Ring Area, which has 483 miles of major roads and more than 1,700 roadway segments.
They are watching us. But the system is supposed to be anonymous and if you really don’t want to be probed, you can turn your phone off. Shanghai is said to be the beginning of a nationwide roll out of the system, which is designed to help city planners deal with traffic congestion and flow issues. You can see some demonstrations of TrafficCast here. We just checked our Shanghai traffic probe, and this is what it told us: Stop buying cars — use public transportation.