Originally Posted by JonOrangeElise
Quick thought: 280 is pretty non-congested relative to other Bay Area roads, so would traffic reporters really want info on congestion? I'm confused. Also, we should remmeber that the CHP had a serious (and very publically announced) ticket-writing campaign on 280 within the last year.
Over the past few years Flow Info has become the "holy grail" for Traffic Engineers. No longer is "Incident" traffic info adequate, because the "Hot" ticket in traffic engineering is "Prediction". It's about being able to predict time of travel in advance and while enroute. To do that you need to know about flow rates (historic & real-time).
One of potential side benefits is to be able to do real-time re-routing based upon instaneous flow rates. A Nav system would be able to calculate the estimated travel time of various routes to a destination and pick the fastest based upon distance and real-time flow rates.
The big carrot for the development of these systems is not you & I the consumer (listening to traffic reporters on the radio), but the commercial fleets, where saving travel time are real $$$$.
We will see more of these sensors popping up. There are other systems in development for capturing flow info including "Floating Point". Floating point systems will mean getting speed info directly from the vehicles. Currently in development are in-vehicle GPS based systems with either cellular or 802.11 connectivity or cell phone based systems that monitor the time it takes for someone with a cell phone on the highway to travel between 2 or more points (cell towers or cell sectors).
As for law enforcement... Well, none of these systems are being developed specifically for law enforcement, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the CHP could monitor the Flow reports and see where traffic is routinely over the speed limit and send out patrols to "visits" those sections of road.