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March 14, 2015

Pharos Smart Traffic Review

Oh, how many times have I looked at my SmartPhone and said "Why the hell cant you do cool stuff like tell me what traffic is like on my route home!?". To tell the truth, I often punch up that little tirade with an f-bomb here and there to get the phone to understand just how disappointed I am. Pharos, makers of a multitude of GPS dongles, devices and "where the hell am I" type of software shot back an answer .They packaged together a rather useful app for SmartPhones and PDAs that can give you real-time traffic maps replete with color coded indicators. The SmartPhone software pulls data from their site which aggregates DOT traffic maps and data from local DOTs (Dept of Traffic or whatever they decided to call it where you cuss in traffic). smartphone.jpg

There are two categories of service, full map and sort-of-map. I happen to live in a sort-of-map area where you do still get a map but it's not filled out with red and green indicators along the entire route. That's a function of the lame DOT where I live and not Pharos. I do get the text detailed alerts which are very nice. Angelinos can try out their "new" friendly wave thing out using this system as it will show you with gory detail exactly where not to be. Having lived there, anything that allows people in the 818 and the 909 to more effectively get to the 310 is a bad idea. That said, if you live in a congested city and spend a lot of time commuting, this is a tool you need to have. The full map versions cover most of the major metro areas and a few podunk towns who happen to have a big traffic reporting budget. Pharos Smartphone

The software install is super easy, and the interface leaves nothing to scratch your head over. My only complaint is I'd like more zoom and pan options as well as possibly a little time lapse. Acu-Weather maps got me all hooked on the time-lapse map. I'd also like to see it default right to my "home" city. As cool as it is to have traffic maps of the tri-state-area, I don't need the option to pick the city each time I open the app. The strength in an app like this is the ability to open it, update the info, determine route and go. I can always futz with the options in the dentist waiting room if I need something to do.

With positioning technology getting cheaper and installed in more and more vehicles, its only a matter or time before traffic report alerts will become a standard part of GPS mapping systems. It would make sense that OnStar would pick up on this thread and just do it over their install base. Hi, yeah, GM, feel free to pay me a royalty for that little nug-o-wiz.

Posted by Lionel Felix at March 14, 2015 05:40 PM

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Posted by: sinclair [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2015 03:43 PM

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