Earlier today, Verizon Wireless announced that it will offer its mobile phone customers the ability to receive text messages alerting them to traffic conditions along highways throughout the United States. The service is being provided with technology from Autodesk Location Services.
According to the press release announcing the new service:
Travelers using the new Verizon Wireless TXT Traffic Alert Service can choose their preferred routes and designate which times of day they would like to receive traffic update alerts....
To register, Verizon Wireless customers simply login to http://www.vtext.com/, Verizon Wireless' TXT Messaging companion Web site, and select which traffic alerts they wish to receive. The service is being offered at no cost to Verizon Wireless customers during the July 4th Holiday Weekend (July 2nd - July 6th, 2004). Beginning July 7th, 2004, Verizon Wireless customers can pay as they go for TXT Traffic Alerts, which are just $0.02 for each message received, or select from several bundled plans, including $2.99 per month for 100 messages, $4.99 per month for 250 messages and $9.99 per month for 1,000 messages sent or received.
Traffic alerts are an application of SMS that I have expected for a long time. Verizon Wireless should be congratulated for rolling this out first. I hope that other U.S.-based carriers follow with offerings of their own. [ via Textually.org ]