New traffic app and disaster prevention technology road tested “A new smartphone traffic app tested by citizens in Dublin, Ireland allows users to give feedback on traffic incidents, enabling traffic management centres to respond quicker when collisions and other incidents happen around the city. The ‘CrowdAlert’ app, which is now available for download, is one of the key components utilised in the EU-funded INSIGHT project and a good example of how smartphones and social networks can be harnessed to improve public services and safety.

‘We are witnessing an explosion in the quantity, quality, and variety of available information, fuelled in large part by advances in sensor networking, the availability of low-cost sensor-enabled devices and by the widespread adoption of powerful smart-phones,’ explains  coordinator professor Dimitrios Gunopulos from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. ‘These revolutionary technologies are driving the development and adoption of applications where mobile devices are used for continuous data sensing and analysis.’

The project also developed a novel citywide real-time traffic monitoring tool, the ‘INSIGHT System’, which was tested in real conditions in the Dublin City control room, along with nationwide disaster monitoring technologies. The INSIGHT system was shown to provide early warnings to experts at situation centres, enabling them to monitor situations in real-time, including disasters with potentially nation-wide impacts such as severe weather conditions, floods and subsequent knock-on events such as fires and power outages.

The project’s results will be of interest to public services, which have until now lacked the necessary infrastructure for handling and integrating miscellaneous data streams, including data from static and mobile sensors as well as information coming from social network sources, in real-time. Providing cities with the ability to manage emergency situations with enhanced capabilities will also open up new markets for network technologies….(More)”