Researchers develop algorithm that can tell if you walk, drive, or take the subway

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Researchers at Finland’s University of Helsinki have developed a new algorithm that could be helpful to the future of city planning and development. The algorithm can determine how mobile users get around by analyzing their velocity and frequencies of their starts and stops. By analyzing this data civic planners can determine if the population walks, takes public transit, or drives to move about the city. This information can help civic planners plan road rehabilitations and new modes of public transportation.

The algorithm’s potential is not just limited to determining how you commute. It can also limited to determining how you commute. It can also be used to determine your driving style and ability. If installed on a car’s internal sensor data can be gathered that can help improve safety. It can also help you learn to improve your car’s fuel efficiency based on your driving ability.

Researchers are considering using the algorithm to create the driving style feature as an app. This application will have greater limitations than a car based driving sensor. The cell phone app may be able to track some nuances of your driving style but not in the detail a car based system could.

Because the algorithm can be used in both mobile and car applications the data collected can be used to help identify road hazards. The program can also help recreate accidents with more accuracy for police and insurance reports.

[via Gigaom]

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