While most of us immediately default to Google for our daily navigation, it may be time to give Microsoft’s Bing Maps a chance because of a little something called Clearflow.
Clearflow is a piece of software developed by a group of artificial-intelligence researchers at Microsoft Research laboratories and has been used to map out traffic in the US for the last four years – it has just seen an international roll-out that includes South Africa.
The data for the prediction system comes from the agreement that Microsoft has with Nokia for its mapping data after the US-based Microsoft bought the devices and services division from the Finnish company earlier this year for around $7.2 billion (R79 billion).
Unlike Google which tracks individual Maps and Waze users’ positions in real-time to build up a database of heavy trafficked areas, Microsoft’s Clearflow uses Nokia’s traffic data for main and arterial routes and extrapolates that data using the AI prediction model to figure out where the route least likely to be affected by traffic is before diverting users along.
The real question now is whether you’re going to ditch your Waze or Google Maps app for some Bing goodness any time soon?[Source – Microsoft, Via – Engadget]