Optus TrafficView Tracks Traffic Problems Via Mobile Phone Users

If your in-car GPS has support for Suna, you can get a fair idea of any lurking traffic threats on your route. If it doesn't but you're an Optus subscriber, you now have another option: a mobile phone traffic alerts service which derives its data from the movements of Optus customers.

The TrafficView service does pretty much what you'd expect: identifies potential traffic snarls, suggests alternative routes and sends SMS alerts for up to 30 "saved journeys" you carry out regularly.

One other big differentiator from Suna-enabled GPS devices: it isn't free. Optus customers can trial it for 14 days, but after that you either need to pay $3.99 for a monthly subscription or 55 cents per alert for occasional alerts. In practice, if your regular commute gets traffic problems more than twice a week, the subscription will be cheaper.

I'm a non-driver so won't be putting this to the test directly; if you try it out, tell us about the accuracy (or otherwise) in the comments.

Optus TrafficView

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Comments

    Isn't this almost exactly how the Google Maps traffic layer determines congestion? That's "free", assuming you have data for your phone.

    So, it appears that for $4/month with Optus you simply gain access to unlimited SMS alerts and saved journeys. Hmm, if I drove a lot I would probably try it, but doubt I'd stick with it.

      So in checking this out on Google Maps on my phone versus the Optus website, the correlation seems pretty decent.

      GMaps is a bit more complete in its depiction of the level of congestion (includes "carpark"), but since we don't currently have real-time navigation within GMaps here in Aus, the SMS service may prove useful for day-to-day drivers.

    or you could just buy a nokia (c5 for example) under $200 which includes free maps, navigation, traffic reports and a host of other options

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