Some places ban talking on cell phones while driving, but now some officials in some states want cell phones in cars. Turns out that tracking cell phones might have congestion relief benefits. And the phones need not be in use, just turned on. So now apparently officials will want cell phones in cars, but they won’t want drivers to use them. Here’s how it works:
State officials say that the systems will monitor large clusters of phones, not individual ones, and that the benefits could be substantial. By providing a constantly updated picture of traffic flow across thousands of miles of highways, they maintain, cell phone tracking can help transportation agencies spot congestion and divert drivers with radio alerts or updated electronic road signs. Next month, Maryland, with the help of the University of Baltimore, plans to begin tests for a cellular tracking system in the Baltimore area. Virginia also plans to test a system around the Norfolk beltway. Missouri says it is about to sign a deal that will allow it to monitor traffic movements over 5,500 square miles of state roadways. Similar mapping technology is in use in London, Tel Aviv and Antwerp, Belgium.