Drivers will know about traffic jams before they happen in New Jersey

    New Jersey will launch a new traffic predictor on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway next year, using traffic monitoring hardware and historical data for the same stretches of highways. Warnings about the coming jams will be sent to drivers by email, text message and roadside signs.

    Imagine knowing a traffic jam was going to happen before you were already stuck. New Jersey residents will soon have that experience. A Traffic Prediction Tool, a highway crystal ball of sorts, will be used on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway early next year.

    Tom Feeney of the turnpike authority says, using road sensors and historical data, the tool will alert drivers of potential problems by e-mail, signs and even text messages.

    “Tests of the new system have been successful,” he says. “They predicted traffic ten-minutes ahead of time with 90% accuracy on the turnpike and 93% accuracy on the garden state parkway.”

    The $650,000 project will be the first in the country.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.