Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bus, train, car or walk ?

Eco-routing will give you the right answer...er...route. As the name suggests, the ultimate aim is saving the earth - reducing fuel consumption, reducing pollution, effective energy management, ....you know this part. This is done by offering the most efficient eco-route to get a person from A to B.

There are 2 aspects to eco-routing (or green routing or whatever name everyone comes up with). One, computing an eco-route for a car to take the person from A to B and two, suggesting alternate sources of transport to create a eco-route from A to B.

In the first case, the terrain information serves as a sensor in the car by allowing it to know the ''road ahead'' - is there a curve, a steep slope ahead ? So while this information enables the driver to choose the optimal speed (and gear) thereby saving fuel, the real-time traffic updates tell the driver which route to avoid.

In the second case, the system offers the driver an alternate source of transport i.e. when there is a traffic jam because of an accident, the system tells the driver to take the train instead and no, am not kidding ! But the aim of eco-routing is to make this transition as smooth as possible i.e. it will give you the nearest parking lot, parking price per hour and the train timetable. You have to admit that this is tempting than being stuck in traffic for hours and you are doing your bit to save the earth!

......and what do you know - Google has already started working towards it or at least that's what I think. Here is something that looks like one of the first steps towards building a navigable eco-routing database - integrating public transport information as a layer.

So, are you a game for a walk or taking the train/bus to work ?

Update, as on 24-Nov 2009:

I came across this website and I was very excited that people have started realising and doing something about having no space to walk. Well, yes, it will be a while before we can see results but its good to know we are walking in the right direction for our right to walk :)
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Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)