Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Waze and the Traffic Panopticon - The New Yorker

From a Waze Connected Cities program snapshot

"Indeed, the deal promises to help the city improve some of its traffic and infrastructure systems (L.A. still uses paper to manage pothole patching, for example), but it also acknowledges Waze’s role in the complex new reality of urban traffic planning. Traditionally, traffic management has been a largely top-down process. In Los Angeles, it is co√∂rdinated in a bunker downtown, several stories below the sidewalk, where engineers stare at blinking lights representing traffic and live camera feeds of street intersections. L.A.’s sensor-and-algorithm-driven Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System is already one of the world’s most sophisticated traffic-mitigation tools, but it can only do so much to manage the city’s eternally unsophisticated gridlock. Los Angeles appears to see its partnership with Waze as an important step toward improving the bridge between its subterranean panopticon and the rest of the city still further, much like other metropolises that have struck deals with Waze under the company’s Connected Cities program."
Waze and the Traffic Panopticon - The New Yorker
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