MapMyIndia, a Qualcomm Ventures, KPCB, Sherpalo, Nexus Venture Partners funded location based services and maps company, has launched traffic updates for the city of Delhi, at http://traffic.mapmyindia.com.  By the looks of it, not many junctions are covered as of now, but one does see the roads in the map marked with red and green zones.

I noticed that Central Delhi and the road to Gurgaon and Noida – especially the major traffic junctions – are covered, but West Delhi, and areas like Karol Bagh and Punjabi Bagh aren’t. Those would be forever red anyway. It’s still early days for the product, as it builds up its database, and expands its coverage area. At least someone’s launched traffic updates: Google still doesn’t show traffic information for its India maps. Screenshot:

Traffic in South Delhi

Chhavi Gupta, AVP at MapMyIndia told MediaNama that the company is using information gathered from vehicle tracking systems that it has deployed with call centres as an enterprise solution, as well as GPS systems for taxis that are a primary source of information. These are all connected GPS systems. MapMyIndia has benchmarked average speeds on roads, which they compare with realtime data for traffic information. But what if a cab is parked? Or what if one cab driver is driving fast, and another is going slow? Gupta says that they need to average the information out, and know when a vehicle is parked. Late at night, all areas go green.

Traffic In Gurgaon

MapMyIndia isn’t using information from users who have GPS devices deployed, since there isn’t a return path in those devices.

Suggestions

– Integration with Delhi Traffic Police: The Delhi police regularly updates its twitter account with inputs on traffic situation on main roads and at major junctions in Delhi. While MapMyIndia has information on the areas that it is tracking, it could do well to incorporate information on other areas from Delhi Traffic Police.
– How about a subscription or login based implementation, where a user can define a regular route (for example, to his office), and a timeframe, for when she is usually on that route (broad timespan, say 8:30am to 10:00 am, and 6:00 pm to 8:00pm). During that time period the user could be pushed SMS’ highlighting parts of the route where is heavy traffic congestion, alongwith alternative routes. Or perhaps come up with a best routes listing online, depending on time and place of departure of the user.
– Similarly, how about suggestions, on the basis of daily traffic checks, about the ideal time for someone to leave office or for home, within that timeframe, on the basis of the quickest journey.

Can’t help but notice that most MapMyIndia services are piloted in Delhi: Dial62 has been piloted in Delhi, house addresses were added first for Delhi. I know it’s home turf for MapMyIndia, but the Delhi focus leaves it open for competitors to move in, in case of other cities. If anything, Mumbai needs alternate route suggestions more than Delhi.