Improving Your Commute

October 06, 2009
Hari Balakrishnan, Professor Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of CSAIL

Road traffic is a “grand challenge” societal problem, and with the increasing crowding of the areas in and around cities, it is only becoming worse. With the proliferation of wireless connectivity, smartphones, and cheap embedded computers, it is now possible to continuously monitor urban areas using mobile sensors carried by people while they drive. This talk describes three challenges that need to be met in using such data to help people reduce the time and fuel spent stuck in traffic: 1) accurate modeling of traffic delays while conserving energy and protecting user privacy, 2) accurate predictions of future traffic conditions, and 3) traffic-aware routing to provide credible routes to users. We will discuss and demonstrate how the CarTel system addresses these problems. More information on Professor Balakrishnan’s joint work with the CarTel project team can be found at

Please watch the video of Professor Balakrishnan’s presentation.