Microsoft is launching a free application that will plot routes for car journeys by cross-referencing them with historical traffic data, according to the New York Times.
The result, the company claims, will be a vastly improved route finder, which the company is dubbing ClearFlow. The system works by not only considering highways but also side streets and other factors, such as weather and local sporting events.
The five-year project was the brainchild of Eric Horvitz, an AI researcher at Microsoft Labs in Seattle. He came up with the concept while, predictably, stuck in traffic.
“It was awful,” he said. “Everything seemed to be backed up.”
“It hit me that we had to do all the side streets.”
“We really needed to understand the whole city.”
Microsoft employees offered to carry GPS systems in their cars and the software for the city soon built up so that the fastest routes could be found, even if they seemed counterintuitive.
The system is now being rolled out covering 72 US cities and will be available via Microsoft Live.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago