City unveils new real-time commuting app
The City of Ottawa and Ryerson University spinoff company Flybits officially released a mobile application called Ottawa Nav, Monday. The commuting tool aims to deliver up-to-the-minute, customized road information to commuters. The app is free and available for iOS and Android devices.
"Our city is going through significant transformation over the next few years to keep our economy moving,"said Mayor Jim Watson. "This new app offers another means to connect with residents and provide additional on-demand information to give residents better navigation through Ottawa and to help reduce traffic congestion."
Flybits has mapped the city into a multitude of zones, associating contextual data with every location. As commuters move throughout the city, they can receive useful and relevant information in real time based on their location and travel preferences. Managed through a secure web console, City staff can provide up-to-the minute updates and notifications within a zone—making any critical information instantly available.
"The solution is like a mini-traveler information centre right on their mobile device,"said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "The system is flexible to enable City staff to communicate the relevant traveler information based on the motorist’s location and the situation, in a safe, reliable and convenient fashion."
The app’s functionality differs depending on whether the user is a driver or a passenger. While driving, the mobile app delivers relevant audible information to users informing them of events occurring in their area of travel, including construction projects, collisions and other unplanned incidents.
Ottawa Nav can also provide, where applicable, notifications of a reduced speed limit in construction and school zones. While in passenger mode, users can tap into the City and Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s traffic cameras to access real time images to view traffic conditions near their immediate location.
This system was designed and developed by Flybits Inc., a Ryerson University spinoff company and Canadian leader in contextaware intelligent mobility solutions. The Flybits platform features scalable software that enables City st aff to share pertinent applications, web pages and other information instantly without any infrastructure investment or demands. Powered by Flybits, Ottawa Nav is a one-stop-shop platform for residents seeking traveler and mobility information in the City.
"Ottawa is the first city to deploy a contextaware computing strategy,"explained Dr. Hossein Rahnama, Founder of Flybits - Director of Research and Innovation - Ryerson Digital Media Zone.
The Ottawa Nav application is now available for free on the Apple AppStore and Google Play for Android devices. Other platforms will become available in the future.