Carmageddon? Carpocalypse? Fear-Not Mobile Savvy Commuters

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“405 Freeway Closure: July 16 and July 17, Expect Delays” is a message Los Angelinos have been seeing for weeks now. Dubbed “Carmageddon” by clever LA locals, the closure of ten miles of the 405 Freeway for 53 hours between the 101 Freeway and the 10 Freeway would be akin to shutting down half of the DC Beltway, i880 in Northern CA, or the Long Island Expressway for an entire weekend.

Can you imagine?

Of the 500,000 drivers who will be affected this weekend, mobile devices may be the key to their salvation. The Pew Research Center released a report this week about the proliferation of Smartphones among all age groups – including the over 45 set – indicating their trusted mobile devices with built-in navigation and “alternate route” capabilities will be in heavy use this weekend.

Ben Parr’s article, “How Mobile Tech Is Being Used to Fight Carmageddon,” in this week’s Mashable mobile section picks out the newest tech resources to help make the closure less daunting.

Paper maps and personal directional instincts have fallen to the wayside as mobile technologies pervade our pockets. Even cars equipped with built-in navigation systems offer less value than mobile phone maps with GPS because they can’t compete with the accuracy and add-on features. Mobile apps like Waze have been advertising features of real-time traffic updates and partnerships with local TV stations to inform the public on their mobile phones, and mobile marketers who offer place- or location-based advertising could rake it in if they’re smart and have their hands on the wheel. A lost or frustrated traveler makes a great mark for a nearby mobile marketing ad offering a cool beverage, a quick bite, or heaven-forbid… a paper map.

Good Luck Los Angeles. See you Monday.


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