New tools help drivers make smart travel decisions while discouraging distracted driving
(Trenton) - New Jersey drivers will have two new real-time traffic tools at their disposal as they hit the road for the busy Thanksgiving weekend.
A free application called “Trumpit” will allow drivers to get traffic alerts on their iPhones without the distraction of having to read a text message or email, and a new widget at www.511nj.org will allow them to get up-to-the-minute estimates for travel times on popular segments of New Jersey’s most heavily traveled highways.
“When it comes to getting around in a state as busy as New Jersey, information really is power,” said Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. “We collect huge amounts of information about highway conditions through our 511 system. These user-friendly tools are another way to put that information into the hands of drivers quickly and safely so that they can make informed decisions about when to travel and what route to take.”
With Trumpit, iPhone users need to press just a single button to play audio versions of the same traffic and public service alerts they now receive through My 511NJ. Versions of Trumpit for BlackBerry and Android users are also being developed.
“This application provides drivers with traffic information about the highways they care about at the times when they need it without having to take their eyes off the road,” said New Jersey Turnpike Authority Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “It discourages distracted driving and allows our customers to make better travel choices.”
Customers who want to use Trumpit should visit the 511nj.org Web site to sign up for My511NJ, which will enable them to receive alerts for the routes and times of day they choose. They should also go to the iPhone App Store and download the Trumpit app for free. Additional information about Trumpit is available on the FAQs tab at 511nj.org.
Trumpit was developed by the Turnpike Authority as part of its My Traffic Now suite of real-time travel information sources. Because it’s powered by information from the 511 system, drivers can use it to get alerts not just for the Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway but for any highway in New Jersey.
The Popular Driving Times widget allows visitors to the 511nj.org Web site to choose one of eight busy New Jersey highways from a drop-down menu. Once a road is selected, the widget displays real-time estimated travel times for popular segments of those roads. For example, if a user were to choose I-287 southbound, the widget would display estimated travel times for three segments: the New York State Line to I-80, I-80 to I-78 and I-78 to the New Jersey Turnpike.
The travel-time estimates are recalculated every one to two minutes. Information is available for I-80, I-78, I-287, I-295, the Turnpike, the Parkway, the Atlantic City Expressway and the I-76/NJ42 freeway.
Features will be added to both tools in the coming months. By the end of the year, the travel time estimates will be available by phone to drivers who dial 511. And by mid-2011, the Trumpit app will be able to use a smart phone’s GPS location feature to send audio alerts to drivers relevant to their location at that time.