While basic driving directions are available in maps since a long time, the ability to offer real time traffic updates as well - is a new trend. But where other such applications offer traffic information in the form of red and green highlighted lines on the map, Traffline - a product of a Mumbai-based startup, Birds Eye Systems offers slightly more.
Despite of the fact that it covers most of the OS including Android, iOS and Blackberry, Traffline has a web service plus a call center in Mumbai, and offers live updates to those commuters who are not using any traffic app. However, the service is limited to Mumbai, Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru only.
Traffline also provides traffic updates in text format. It updates traffic data every 10 minutes and provides information such as construction, accident and other event updates that are causing traffic congestion.
The company claims to be rolling out an advanced version of its app in a month's time with few interesting features that would position Traffline more than just being a real time traffic application.
The update will offer features like advanced travel planning, friends meetups and reminder services.
Data collection and backend technology
Traffline collects its traffic data from three sources. With its base information's source being moving probes, traffline collects accident and event information from its field teams and followers also report information to them. Thereafter, a patented algorithm collates the data from these sources and gives it out to users in the desired format. As far as the UI of the app is concerned, it's mobile app offers a very simple design, allowing users to search traffic congestions by area or by route. There is also an option to view all traffic jams in a city. One can also calculate the time it will take one to reach from one destination to other alongwith the delay time due to traffic conditions.
With having a user base of over 2.5 lakhs, and more than 30k app downloads - Traffline doesn't seems to be lacking behind the competition. Moreover it gets around 1 million traffic requests on its Twitter page every week.
"The scope for an app like Traffline is massive. In countries abroad, live traffic apps have already weaved into a commuters everyday life. In India, with the advancements in technology and changing lifestyles, we see Traffline becoming a can't-do-without app," added Brijraj Vaghani, director at Birds Eye System Pvt. Ltd. "Currently people are getting used to the idea of checking traffic conditions before going out (instead of checking while they are already on the road). However, this monsoon has proved that Indian commuters are already quickly wrapping their heads around this concept."