I had a nice chat with Ross Lamont from Nokia this morning regarding the Nokia Legends campaign (my interview should be in the next MobileTechRoundup podcast) and he mentioned that their Mobile Millenium project highlighted on the Nokia Telegraph "virtual paper" was moving forward with a larger scale testing program. Nokia issued a press release announcing the launch of the pilot program that will collect and study traffic data received from GPS-enable mobile phones, particularly the N95, E71, and N96. Nokia Research Center is working with UC Berkeley and NAVTEQ on this project.
I mentioned before that the Dash Express personal navigation device collects user data and uses that to help provide you with localized traffic conditions. Most of the time you only see traffic status for major highways, like on Google Maps, but for many of us the other minor roads can be just as congested. This new Nokia program appears to work like the two-way communication on the Dash as Nokia will be gathering real-time information from those with the handsets in the testing program.
And for those of you who are worried that your personal location is now being tracked and monitored, the team has built safeguards into the system to keep individual device identifiers out of the transmitted traffic data.
Participation is open to anyone with a GPS-enabled mobile phone who live in this Northern California area. The pilot program is scheduled to run for four to six months with up to 10,000 participants. You can visit the Mobile Millenium project page to see what devices are supported and sign up for the program. The currently tested devices include the Nokia E71, E61i, N96, and N95 with the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl working as well.