The UKs leading road traffic information and data specialist, ITIS Holdings Plc, has introduced a new solution to the age-old problem of getting caught in traffic jams. ITIS new offering is Map&Guide, a powerful computer software system that takes data gathered by ITIS from the entire UK strategic road network, updates this information minute-by-minute, and overlays it onto a route map, making traffic jams avoidable to Map&Guide users almost anywhere in the country.

Operators in the logistics industry have long made use of route planning systems that can calculate the shortest, fastest, or cheapest way to a destination. The effectiveness of these systems, however, is seriously compromised if a vehicle following a recommended route encounters congestion and is delayed.

Unavoidable delays reduce the efficiency of a companys investment in drivers and vehicles, cause customer dissatisfaction, and can have the expensive consequence of late-delivery penalties or lost sales. Map&Guide eliminates this commercial risk by supplying up-to-date traffic information for any chosen route, making it possible to avoid most delays.

Map&Guide is usable by anyone with a computer connected to the internet. The computer screen displays a road map overlaid with icons denoting current traffic incidents. When the user clicks on a map traffic icon, Map&Guide gives in-depth details of the traffic incident and the likely duration of delay. Easy-to-use search and filter functions sort the traffic information by named road or incident type, and Map&Guides screen graphics can be customised to meet individual fleet operators requirements.

Unlike other route planning systems, Map&Guide takes account of current traffic conditions when recommending the route to a chosen destination and when estimating journey times.

Map&Guide obtains up-to-date traffic information in the same way that ITIS collects quality traffic information for other applications. Data is generated by the companys Floating Vehicle Data (FVD) system, with additional journalistic traffic data from AA Roadwatch. ITIS now operates the largest commercial application of FVD anywhere in the world, and delivers the content over a variety of platforms including Radio Data Signal-Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC), digital radio, and automated telephone services (IVR) under the AA RoadWatch brand.

ITIS Floating Vehicle Data is gathered from data collection units installed in approximately 50,000 probed high mileage vehicles, such as National Express coaches, Eddie Stobart trucks and the AA patrol fleet. ITIS control centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, receives an average of five million records each day from these data collection units, ensuring a high level of accuracy compared to other methods of data gathering.

Stuart Marks, Chief Executive of ITIS Holdings Plc, commented: Sitting in traffic jams isnt just frustrating, its expensive. People and equipment are business assets, and by sitting idle in traffic they lose British businesses millions of pounds each year. The Map & Guide system will enable operators of small or large vehicle fleets to eliminate most of this downtime wastage.

The Map&Guide software system has been proven in Germany, where it is produced. Map&Guide GmbH develops map-based standard software for both business and private users.

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