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Presidential Inauguration Traffic Managed with 4D Videogame-like Imaging System

A new imagining system that monitors traffic in real-time is being used to manage the enormous Washington D.C. crowds during the presidential inauguration.

"It takes the idea of video games but puts it in a practical light where you're actually using this as a situational awareness tool," said CATT manager Phillip Weisberg, a gamer himself. "[Video games] have always been at the forefront of technology."

Designed by the Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology (CATT), the system has been in development for several years, but was delivered to FEMA and homeland security officers just last Friday. According to ABC, puck-like sensors embedded in roads can track "the number of cars that go by, the speed at which they travel, the temperature of the roadway and the salinity of the moisture."

That data is then compiled into a 3D picture of the area, complete with cars that represent actual traffic flow. Users then survey the imaging with a "PlayStation-like" joystick, and have the ability to rewind the data for a record of traffic patterns--apparently where the fourth dimension comes into play.

"It's almost like a virtual world that you can fly around in," added Weisberg, who compared it to Grand Theft Auto. "When you drop down to a road... you can actually see what the traffic looks like if you were on the road."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 20, 2009 1:14 PM

    4-Dimensional? Is the 4th dimension here time? And if so, does that mean any game with a playback feature is 4D?

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