Reader Jack Harding passes along news of a free iPhone app that tries to put crowd wisdom behind the wheel by allowing drivers to directly tell other drivers about road conditions. The app does have professional traffic reports, but its most innovative feature is enabling drivers to leave “shouts” about what kind of traffic they are seeing for themselves along certain routes. There are even special “shout” rooms for road ragers who need to blow off some steam, and American Idol wannabees who need a little practice.
Unlike a simple crowd signal such as a poll, drivers do have to wade through people’s “shouts” to find out what’s happening on the highway. Maybe a future version will include an aggregation mechanism for rating the sluggishness of traffic. So far, the app’s developers say it works in the top U.S. traffic markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, and Seattle. On iTunes, there are reports of repeated crashes–the app, not autos–which will hopefully be fixed with more time.
Addendum: Hopefully drivers won’t use this app as they speed down the highway.