Rutgers professors win $2 million to help ease your morning commute

    A team of Rutgers University and UCLA professors has been awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to try to make your morning commute a little less painful.

    Picture this: wireless devices, mounted to stop signs and traffic lights throughout the city, which track congestion, air pollution and weather conditions on roads.

    The monitors talk to your iPhone or GPS and the navigational devices in surrounding cars, updating best routes in real time and communicating with traffic lights to manage traffic flow.

    That is the vision of Badri Nath, a computer science professor at Rutgers University, and his colleagues on both coasts.

    “We would like to provide you information just ahead of time, where you actually have a choice, rather than telling you that the road is congested when you’re already in the road that’s congested,” Nath said.

    The research is meant to close the loop between traffic control systems and private GPS devices.

    The team hopes to test pilot programs in Philadelphia or New York.

    They may incorporate fees or incentive programs that would push people away from high-congestion routes in times of heavy air pollution.

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