Nokia has announced the launch of "Mobile Millennium", a pilot scheme that will collect and study traffic data received from GPS-enabled mobile devices in US.
Nokia Research Center is collaborating with UC Berkeley's California Center for Innovative Transportation, the California Department of Transportation and Navteq to design, execute and analyse the traffic system.
The project will look at a community of users with GPS-equipped mobile devices to see if it can help reduce traffic and the amount of time spent on the road.
Nokia says providing real-time information about traffic congestion helps drivers make more informed decisions - such as whether to take alternative routes, public transport or reschedule their journey.
Traditional traffic monitoring systems are expensive and have to be specially installed, whereas using existing GPS-enabled mobile devices can "provide a richer, complementary source of traffic data without the need to invest in expensive new infrastructure", Nokia states.
Anyone with a GPS-enabled mobile phone (not just Nokia handsets), an unlimited data plan and the ability to install and run Java applications can participate in the scheme.
The Java application lets participants to receive real-time traffic data and incident reports for main thoroughfares throughout much of the United States and the user-generated content is completely anonymous.
The pilot will operate over 4 to 6 months and up to 10,000 members of the public can participate.