The Tennessee Highway Patrol has begun using software that will predict where crashes and other safety problems will occur. However, instead of simply identifying problem locations over the long term, the model looks at four-hour segments and 30 square mile areas. This allows police officers and resources to be efficiently dispatched to specific areas to either prevent or respond to anticipated high-risk situations.
For years, technology companies have battled “patent trolls,” individuals and firms that do not produce products, but instead sue to assert patent rights to various innovations. Now at least one patent troll is targeting U.S. public transit agencies, over bus- and train-tracking applications the agencies make available to customers via smartphones and the Web. The apps, now in common use, represent significant innovation for transit agencies and a boon to riders. But the lawsuits are a legal and financial nightmare for cash-strapped transit operators.