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The ClearPath App Can Predict Traffic Delays

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Around the world, commuters in big cities spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. In America, Los Angeles and San Francisco tie for second place on the list of cities with the worst traffic.

The Texas A&M University Transportation Institute says Washington, D.C., is in first place. Professor Cyrus Shahabi knows about traffic jams. He lives more than 65 kilometers from his office at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. He says he is always late for meetings, even with the help of a navigation system. So he decided to develop an app for his mobile phone that would help.

The ClearPath app is designed to do what other navigation systems cannot. Professor Shahabi says his program uses historical data to predict traffic conditions before the driver leaves the house. The app uses traffic data gathered for more than two years from 9,000 sensors on the roads of Los Angeles. It also collects information on accidents.

Cyrus Shahabi says his system does more than respond to current traffic conditions. With it, he says, a driver can enter what time he wants to leave on a specific date, and ClearPath will give the fastest route. It considers the entire road network, including streets and highways, before the driver begins his or her trip. A free ClearPath app for roads in Los Angeles is expected to be launched soon.

In a year, the computer science professor says he hopes to have ClearPath available around the country, and then in foreign countries after traffic data in other cities is collected. Cyrus Shahabi says he wants to get companies that already have navigation systems, such as Google and Apple, to use the new technology.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 10Mar2013)