Traffic jam info in real time

O2 delivers anonymised signal data for navigation systems

MUNICH. Get where you're going quicker with Telefónica O2 Germany: in future, it will be possible to analyse and predict traffic flows on streets much more precisely. To achieve this, anonymised mobile location data from the O2 network will be supplied to the ITIS Deutschland GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based ITIS Holdings plc, which is a shareholder of the Munich MILE Traffic and Travel GmbH (MILE). BMW will be the first carmaker to use the new PrecisionTraffic(TM) technology in its vehicles as part of their pan European traffic service.
Standard navigation devices are already using the traffic message channel (TMC), which transmits traffic jam reports to them via FM frequencies. Up until now, however, such information came from GPS, fixed sensors, police reports or individuals who voluntarily reported on the traffic. Traffic data recorded automatically by sensors and induction loops, which are used to calculate congestion forecasts by means of statistical models, is also added to this information. The disadvantage of such tips is that they are often outdated by the time they reach the car. The new partnership overcomes those limitations, as traffic data will be complemented by mobile phone data. Anonymised signal data from over 17 million probes is now being recorded and evaluated directly, so that traffic flows can be depicted in real time. Because the traffic information is transmitted in real time, the best possible detour can be recommended to every driver. The new system can be tried out in all new BMW models starting in autumn. Additional customers are expected to follow later on.
By evaluating mobile radio data, bigger areas can be covered, as by using other techniques as GPS or fixed sensors. Therefore, more roads can be covered and the information is much more precise. "This is a huge advantage over navigation devices that do not use our data," said Johannes Pruchnow, Managing Director Business at Telefónica O2 Germany. "Our customers don't just travel on A-roads and motorways. This new cooperation is one more example of the strong performance of Telefónica O2 Germany's Enabling Services in the M2M field." Because O2 considers the location information to be confidential customer data, the entire system was scrutinised and approved by Germany's federal authorities for data protection. Continuous anonymisation and encryption algorithms that change regularly make it impossible to draw inferences from individual customer information. "ITIS is excited to be partnering with Telefónica O2 to launch our PrecisionTraffic(TM) service in Germany which complements our leading service in the UK," said Stuart Marks, Chief Executive of ITIS Holdings plc, the parent company of ITIS Deutschland GmbH. "We believe that we can offer German drivers the best traffic information service available based on ten years of investment and R&D in the use of cellular data." ITIS PrecisionTraffic(TM) will be available in Q2 and is targeted at carmakers, navigation software suppliers and the public sector such as local and federal government. You can find additional information about O2's Financial & Enabling Services at
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has more than 56 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.