The City of Orlando is purchasing over $130,000 worth of Bluetooth readers to monitor and improve traffic flow through downtown.
The Bluetooth readers will be installed at intersections and will tap into commuters’ cellphones and car receivers to record how many cars are driving by at a given moment. This will also allow the City to analyze how long it takes cars to travel through downtown by recording how long it takes to pass between certain points along the route.
The data collected will allow traffic engineers to optimize traffic flow at all times of the day.
According to an article by Orlando Weekly, the Bluetooth readers will access only enough information to identify the commuters as they pass through town. This is done by detecting and tracking MAC addresses in handheld devices. Where IP addresses are associated with networking software, MAC addresses are linked to the hardware of network adapters. MAC addresses are unique to each device.
Collection of real-time traffic data through Bluetooth readers could also be made public to allow people to avoid areas that are experiencing traffic jams in favor of faster commutes.