SABC LAUNCHES TRAFFIC UPDATE SERVICE
Collaboration between the SABC's “Traffic Watch” team, Marketel, NGN Telecoms, Vodacom and the SABC's New Media Unit has resulted in an up-to-the-minute “News Break” traffic update service, it was announced yesterday, Tuesday, 10 February 2009.
By dialing 082 152 and choosing option 3 (traffic), users will connect to a “service within a service” that should allow them to hear a list of incidents affecting the flow of traffic on the country's roads, on a 24/7 basis.
Incident information is gathered from a variety of sources including the motoring public, national, provincial and local traffic and roads authorities, emergency services, toll-road operators and road-building and maintenance contractors.
Rob Byrne, who heads up SABC's Traffic Watch team, now also has access to real-time speed information on the country's highways through a collaboration agreement with Tracker, giving him a “picture” of traffic on these major routes at all times. This allows for the identification of incidents only minutes after they have occurred.
The system uses advanced ‘text-to-speech' conversion to cope with the rapidly-changing list of incidents. Because of the unique pronunciation associated with so many street and place names in South Africa, it has been necessary to build up a special ‘phonetic library' of these words for the text-to-speech process. This library is being added to on a continual basis.
The traffic service will allow users to select the province for which they wish to hear traffic updates. For those provinces with the heaviest traffic, sub-choices will allow the user to make sub-choices as follows:
• in Gauteng:
- Greater Johannesburg
- Centurion and Pretoria
- Gauteng highways (ie national [“N”] roads, motorways [“M” roads] and “R” roads)
• in the Western Cape:
- Greater Cape Town
- Major routes outside the greater Cape Town area
• in KwaZulu-Natal:
- Greater Durban
- Major routes outside the greater Durban area
With respect to the collaboration, Marketel operates the NewsBreak service on behalf of the SABC, NGN Telecoms is responsible for the integration of the traffic service into NewsBreak) and Vodacom hosts the NewsBreak service.
Excerpt taken from the Bizcommunity website