The Cameras in Your Car May Be Harvesting Data as You Drive

There’s a problem with a bike lane in Brooklyn, N.Y. City officials painted it along part of Manhattan Avenue, a major thoroughfare between the Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighbourhoods. But the lane suddenly ends at a busy intersection. It picks up one block east, but that isn’t obvious to cyclists. Most of them continue down Manhattan Avenue, where their path is often blocked by traffic and double-parked cars.

A few miles away on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Rutherford, N.J., there’s another problem: Drivers heading to the Meadowlands are taking a sharply curved off-ramp so fast that they have to slam on the brakes.

These and plenty of other problems around the world (in Barcelona, Spain; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Tokyo, for example) are made clearly visible on digital maps put together by a company called Mobileye: Speeding cars turn roadways red, and groups of cyclists glow like flames along bike routes. It’s a top-down view of all the traffic problems that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians encounter and complain about every day. 

The maps aren’t being used by city planners—at least, not yet.

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