General, Research, Technology

How traffic forecast works

Many people just can't get in the car and don’tlaunch the navigator to see how and how much you have to go. I am a person who still found a time when I had to drive a car with a car. It was only 10-15 years ago, and therefore I even respect simple navigators with great respect, even though I think that you are getting dumber from them. But cards with traffic forecasts are generally fantastic, which many underestimate. True, not many people know how traffic jams are built and treat them as what simply exists. Everything is both simpler and more complicated than it seems. Therefore, let's understand to understand how traffic forecasts work. Knowing this, you can use these features much more productively.

One of the most unpleasant pictures for a city dweller.


  • 1 How the navigator receives traffic data
  • 2 How the navigator determines traffic congestion
  • 3 How accurately traffic jams are shown in the navigator
  • 4 Can one person influence traffic data in the navigator?
  • 5 Can a pedestrian with a navigator bring down a traffic jam system
  • 6 What do the points of traffic congestion in Yandex Maps mean?
  • 7 Is it possible to believe traffic jams in the navigator

How the navigator receives traffic data

Even if you perfectly know the city, still from time to time you will come in handy the opportunity to see the travel time. This is especially important in big cities.when you know how to get to the other end of the city (or just to the area where you rarely visit), but don’t know what kind of traffic jams are at this time of day.

First of all, you need to understand that navigatorsThere are two types of data. Some are called static, and the second - dynamic. The first includes those data that do not change for a long time and are part of the terrain. These can be buildings, structures, points of interest (POIs), roads, traffic signs, and so on. Simply put, everything that is on the ground, and what you need to know in order to move normally on it.

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Dynamic data include traffic conditions andsomething that changes every day, or even several times a day! For example, traffic jams, floors and so on. You can ride without this data, but it will not be so convenient. Although, if you are traveling a long distance and you only need to understand when to turn onto another highway, you do not need dynamic data at all.

There are such traffic jams, but today we are not talking about them.

For convenience and speed of map update, it broken up into sectionsthat are processed individually and thenare mapped to neighboring sites. Also, the new data does not completely overlap the old, but is superimposed on them. The old ones in this case are less weight, but provide a smoother change in the traffic situation, because it cannot change instantly. Speed ​​data is also averaged - no one monitors the speed of each machine.

How the navigator determines traffic congestion

So that the navigation system understands that on the roadtraffic jam, it should get a lot of data. First of all, she needs to understand the nature of each particular road and how many cars it drives with a significant deviation from maximum or average speed. For example, 100 cars on the MKAD or 100 cars in the center on a road with one lane - this is a very different thing. Just like a single tractor that “pukes” in the right lane at a speed of 20 km / h instead of the allowed 80 km / h, this is not the same if the entire stream travels at a minimum speed. Well, of course, two cars at a speed of 10 km / h on a country road where 60 km / h are formally allowed will also not make the system consider that there is a traffic jam.

Map Services Don't Know You. They have only an anonymous device that moves in space, and that’s enough for them.

There was even one joker who did not spare timeand money to “draw” a jam on the map. To do this, he placed several dozen smartphones with the included navigator on a small, obviously free street. As a result, the system took these navigators as if they were installed in cars, and realizing that there were a lot of them on the road and they were standing, it showed a serious traffic jam on the map.

Here is that joker with phones along the entire road.

This is how the navigator understands where there is traffic jam,and where not. That is, if navigators hang in all the cars of the city, we will receive the most complete data. On the other hand, no one canceled the joke about 18:00.

Someone rides in traffic jams, and someone is lucky and he rides against them.

At 18:00, the whole of Moscow looks at Yandex where there are no traffic jams in order to simultaneously leave and create the largest

How accurately traffic jams are shown in the navigator

Since the data is built on the basis of displacementcars and navigators in them, then traffic jams can be built with some assumptions. For example, if you drive along a narrow street and get into a traffic jam, which was formed due to a tree that fell a couple of minutes ago, you will not see this traffic jam on the map, since there is still not enough data from other navigators. Moreover, if there are no cars with navigators in this traffic jam, it may not appear on the maps at all.

There are also delays in calculating traffic jams whenthe system needs to compare the data and understand how fast the cars drive this section. Only after processing will she say exactly how much you will go through this section.

However, even after such a calculation, there may be errors in the route construction time. Even traffic jams forecast cannot protect against such errors.

So what to do? We must go.

For example, you leave work at 18:00 and you see that you drive home for 30 minutes. But in the end you drive 60 minutes. This is due to the fact that everyone left work at this time and loaded the roads, and the navigator built a route based on the actual situation. Sometimes some systems use statistics to predict travel times, but they can also vary greatly. For example, an accident, heavy rain, or road repair in one row can turn a relatively clear road into a hopeless one.

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Can one person influence traffic data in the navigator?

Of course, maybe if he blocks his car all the way or touches the trolley at the intersection. But seriously, no.

In order to display on the mapdifficulty, dozens of navigators need to record a lack of traffic on the road. If we are talking about fixing accidents or traffic reports, then there are several people who need to confirm the message of another user. If it is written that “there is an accident in the right lane” and it is not there, several people will say that there is an error in the data and the mark will disappear from the cards. By the way, this is exactly how crash notifications disappear when cars are already pulled away.

It seems that the accident is small, and the traffic jam due to it can be huge.

Can a pedestrian with a navigator bring down a traffic jam system

Theoretically slow pedestrians with navigators inthe phone that goes next to the road can cause confusion and form a traffic jam, but this is extremely unlikely, because it is enough to conduct a minimal behavioral analysis and everything will become clear.

Navigation systems display positioncustomer accurate to 5-8 meters. This is not enough to determine the lane or to distinguish the sidewalk from the road. So distinguishing a pedestrian from a car will not work.

A pedestrian usually moves very evenly. The speed almost does not fall beyond 4-6 km / h. However, he does not stop every 20 meters and does not accelerate sharply to 10-20 km / h. Simply put, looking at the pedestrian's track, it is very difficult to confuse it with the track of a car in traffic.

What do traffic maps mean in Yandex Maps?

To make it easier for users to navigatecomputer algorithms, all information is displayed in the form of three colors superimposed on the road, or numbers on a ten-point scale, which indicate the level of difficulty - from “roads are free” to “walk faster”.

The study was conducted a long time ago, but it is interesting: how much time drivers spend on traffic jams in different cities

Many noticed how many years ago, much has changed, and what was previously noted as 8 points, began to be marked as 5-6 points. This is not a conspiracy and attempts to appease the drivers, distracting them from what is happening in the country (people had such a version). It happened because traffic jams became bigger and there was no sense in always writing 9-10.

Wow, what a horror ...

All navigation services build traffic jams according to theiralgorithms, so the data may vary slightly, and you can choose the option that is right for you. The exact data of the algorithms is protected approximately as the secret of a crabsburger, because it is a trade secret and intellectual property of the company.

Points also vary by city. The higher the load there, the smaller the number at the same level of traffic jams. That is, the same situation in Moscow and a small city will be displayed, for example, as 5 and 8 points, respectively. That is, for some it is a daily picture, while for others it is almost a collapse.

This is due to the fact that for the zero standardpoints or "roads are free" is taken the maximum speed at night. For 10 points or “walking faster” the maximum load in each specific city is taken.

Is it possible to believe traffic jams in the navigator

It is possible and necessary, since he has at least some picture of what is happening, and we can only know the route and the approximate traffic situation, which affected by many variables.

And often there are traffic jams at the congress when everyone is in line, and they begin to go round and get squeezed.

Many say that recently navigatorsthey’re building not the fastest route, but one that will allow unloading the roads. But is this not the fastest route when you are sent to where there are no traffic jams?

Tell us which navigators you use. It is very interesting to understand what pros and cons people find in different systems.

Navigators are constantly learning and getting newsettings. Therefore, they are becoming smarter, and the elements of self-learning make them even smarter. Already now without them in the city is quite difficult, and when they become even better, it will become generally good.

The main thing to understand is that the more data there is,the better the map will work and unload the city’s roads. It is also important to celebrate road events. If there is a mark, do not be too lazy to click on it and confirm or refute. There’s nothing to do in traffic, but such an action will help others. In the end, everyone wants to leave faster and be home.