Ninemsn maps get live traffic updates

Ninemsn maps will now provide free access to live traffic updates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast

Intelematics Australia, operators of the SUNA Traffic Channel, has announced a partnership with Ninemsn that allows motorists in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to access live traffic updates on the Internet.

Using Ninemsn maps (powered by Microsoft Bing), potential hazards such as slow-moving traffic and motor vehicle accidents will be seen as small directional icons, and roadworks and road closures are marked with icons. Live Web pictures of road conditions will be available on ninemsn simply by clicking the traffic camera icon displayed on the map.

Adam Game, CEO of Intelematics Australia, says that Ninemsn is the perfect platform for the company to launch a live traffic information feed for its viewers. "Ninemsn approached Intelematics to develop a way to bring live traffic updates to their online readers," he told GoodGearGuide. "It has taken about three months to build a dedicated live traffic feed for Ninemsn and Microsoft Bing's map service."

The real-time traffic information comes courtesy of the SUNA Traffic Channel and is then overlayed onto the Microsoft Bing map service. The SUNA Traffic Channel provides warnings about accidents, traffic congestion, road closures and road works to compatible GPS devices in Australia. "The SUNA Traffic Channel is part of a 24/7 service that applies to our GPS customers as well as those using the maps system on Ninemsn," said Game.

The SUNA service relays traffic information by using in-road sensors, specialist vehicles that monitor congestion areas and CCTV cameras located throughout covered cities. SUNA Traffic Channel also collects real-time traffic data by using traffic light infrastructure in all major cities in Australia.

"We have probing vehicles that collect data from congestion areas and these are usually commercial vehicles like taxis and delivery cars that are travel at a high volume," said Game. "These are particularly useful for collecting information where there is no infrastructure from local road authorities, like Sydney’s freeways."

Game said Intelematics Australia has plans to bring a similar live traffic update service to smartphones, especially those that utilise turn-by-turn GPS technology.

The Ninemsn traffic service is available now in Australia and can be viewed on ninemsn's Web site.

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