Beijing has set up a monitoring system to provide real-time reports on traffic conditions in the city's center to alleviate its notorious congestion, a senior municipal transportation official said yesterday.
It is estimated that traffic congestion causes 13 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) in economic losses every year, said Wang Gang, director of the Beijing Municipal Transportation Information Center.
The average vehicle speed is about 20 kmph, and an average driver spends two to three hours a day stuck in traffic.
"What is more, the low speeds mean a lot of energy is wasted and more emissions are released," Wang told a press conference yesterday.
The utilization rate of the city's roads is about 20 percent, he added.
Wang said his center could give city residents real-time reports on traffic conditions within the fifth ring road.
"People can access the information via FM radio, their mobile phones or a terminal installed in their vehicles. Or they could log on to the center's website," he said.
The center receives traffic information from special global positioning system terminals installed in about 10,000 cabs around the city, he said, adding that the scale of the project was unprecedented in the world.
More terminals could be added to cabs and buses during the 2008 Olympic Games, he said.
And yesterday the center unveiled a vehicle navigation terminal developed in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co Ltd. The system can inform drivers of the fastest route to their destinations by analyzing traffic information to avoid congestion.
Minoru Shinohara, general manager of Nissan's technology development division, said that experiments carried out on Beijing roads showed that the terminal could help drivers save about 20 percent of their travel time compared to those without a terminal. The 14th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems will be held in Beijing from October 9 to 13, Wang said.
Editor: canton my