Entries with tag software for off-peak commuting.

Stanford Using RFID, Online Gaming to Encourage Off-Peak Commuting

Stanford University professor Balaji Prabhakar is trying to use a mix of technology and incentives to reduce rush-hour traffic congestion. With a $3 million grant from the US Department of Transportation, he created Congestion and Parking Relief Incentives (CAPRI) to address commuting issues on campus. A participant receives an RFID-based ID tag for their vehicle’s windshield. Scanners at each main campus entrance detect the tags. For off-peak entry and departures, CAPRI awards credits that participants use to play an online game Prabhakar developed that offers cash prizes of between $2 and $50. Thus far, the program has awarded $31,000 in prizes. Prabhakar will extend the study this fall to reward drivers who park in less-used parking areas. The CAPRI system also links with social media, letting participants gain additional credits for enrolling friends. Prabhakar said they are considering other incentives that could, for example, target the student commuters and may add smartphone functions to the system. “So far, the CAPRI team hasn’t publicly released any specific data on how well the program has worked,” according to Ars Technica, “but some users have reported a dramatic drop in their own commuting times—as large as dropping from 25 minutes to 7 minutes.” Prabhakar has similar traffic-congestion-relief systems in Singapore and India. (Ars Technica)(Discover Magazine)(Stanford University)(CAPRI)

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