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Getting Around Traffic... With Your Cell Phone

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Getting around traffic delays…with your cell phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Traffic information is everywhere these days…on radio..on TV during rush hours….and wireless carriers are offering traffic info services on cell phones. AOL's MapQuest Traffic is available for about 3 dollars a month on Verizon Wireless. Will it replace in-vehicle navigation systems? MapQuest Chief Technology Officer Austin Klahn…

"The navigation systems in cars are going to be very personal to you. They'll have larger screens. They'll have better speaker systems. The advantage of the cell phone is that you always have it with you, no matter where you are. So I think there's absolute room for both of them to exist."

MapQuest is facing competition…from one of the oldest and best known names in mapping…Rand McNally where Alan Yefsky is the vice president of new products and strategy. Rand McNally Traffic is being sold by a variety of carriers for 4 dollars a month. What does it deliver to your cell phone?

"This is a map of Chicago, actually the area around which I work. And what you see here is a stretch of I 94, this is actually real time traffic flow information on this stretch of highway."

The service lets you personalize the information you get. The service can also send alerts to your phone when there are traffic back-ups. If you want real time GPS navigation on a cell phone, that can be done too. More in an upcoming report. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.