Everyday I commute to work. I can choose to go by car which gives me freedom, loud music, open windows, traffic jams and parking problems. Or I can go by train which gives me time to read books, make this blog post, do some work, have my neighbor sit annoyingly on my lap and hate the smell of my fellow commuters in the morning.
I like both :)
I’m not a traffic expert by any means, I’m just an end-user. Driving to work this week made me think about a few things. Just some ideas that may be already out there (I think so), and maybe they are not. I don’t know about them, since I’m not an expert in this field. Please let me know in the comments if this is.
First I passed a police car doing speed control using the latest laser equipment. I think speed control can be good and is necessary to maintain safety in some places.
In the Netherlands we are kind of overdoing it since it is a pretty solid cash flow. The police checks day and night on the most obscures highways. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only car driving there and the weather is perfect. The system is not flexible in any way. If you’re driving too fast you get ticketed.
Photo Creative Commons, TomTom by Argosnet Photoshopped by me.
This made me think about the TomTom navigator. These devices are very popular. It would be nice if I could tap the screen when I spot a speed control. If more drivers would do this the information would be more reliable. Or drivers could also tap the screen if speed control has moved. Because it knows where the car is it can directly distribute this information to other cars around.
This would not only be great service to the users of a navigator, it would also make them use the navigator more frequently, since people probably aren’t using it driving to work.
In the image above
1) A speed control point is visible
2) Tap the screen and direction the speed control is checking. This information is automatically distributed to other cars and can warn a driver if he or she drives too fast.
Then driving along I ended up in a traffic jam. Every time there is the same traffic jam at the same spot. Most of the time it gets worse because people are changing lanes at the wrong time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could use LED lights to lighten up the stripes on the road and turn these into a solid line when necessary. LED lights are relatively cheap (at least cheaper for an economy than daily traffic jams) and a strong visual barrier should stop people from changing lanes.
Photo Creative Commons, German Highway by Elmada Photoshopped by me.
Go! and connect to your users
These are just some thoughts. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about these things. There are so many people using services every day and they have good ideas, but do not share these ideas.
Not all of these ideas are good, possible to implement or original. But the tools are around to easily connect to the people using your service and use the knowledge your users have.
The ideas are out there, the tools are out there. Just find your way to connect.