Telcontar announced August 19 Traffic Manager, a new product that, according to the company, integrates real-time traffic flow and incident information with existing applications and location-based services. Telecontar claims that by using Traffic Manager with Telcontar's Drill Down Server software platform, location-based service providers will be able to add traffic capabilities to their applications. They say this will enable such new operations as the automatic rerouting of vehicles around traffic jams, the visual display of traffic conditions, the integration of real-time traffic with vehicle navigation systems, and the creation of new traffic applications for wireless cell and PDA users. Early customers of the Traffic Manager include Pharos, Inc. and a global 3G mobile network operator. "The average commuter in the United States and Europe spends almost 50 percent of their commute stuck in traffic," said Eric Carlson, president and CEO of Telcontar. "Many large city drivers spend even more, and the business costs of traffic for professionals such as taxi or delivery drivers nationwide may very well be measured in billions of dollars per year. The current radio traffic bulletins help somewhat, but they are not specific or timely enough to be truly useful. There's a clear need for location-based service providers to arm their clients with the ability to avoid traffic problems on the road and get to their intended destination in a timely manner." Jeff Curtis, executive vice-president of Pharos Inc., agrees. "In response to building customer demand, Pharos is committed to adding new traffic capabilities to our handheld navigation products as well as developing new traffic oriented location-based services. We believe that traffic information services will emerge as a complete LBS market segment in the near future." "Traffic Manager has the ability to support multiple traffic data feeds. This is crucial because no one vendor today has traffic information for the entire United States or European markets," said David Wood, senior vice president of marketing for Telcontar. "By using Traffic Manager and the Drill Down Server, LBS suppliers will be able to address more geographic markets than they could reach otherwise, and they have the freedom to pick their data feed vendors or even change suppliers if required." Traffic Manager will ship later this month and will be available in the United States for use with Tele Atlas/Smartroute and TrafficCast traffic data. Coverage for traffic incidents and construction is supported for more than 100 cities, including New York, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and the San Francisco Bay Area. Flow-based traffic coverage is provided for more than 20 cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco Bay Area. Future releases of Traffic Manager will support European traffic feeds and additional US-based traffic feeds, according to the company. About Telcontar Telcontar is the provider of the software platform for location-based services. Telcontar's clients use its Drill Down Server to offer their own customers such services as driving directions, real-time traffic information, and maps. The company's services are also used by emergency response call centers as well as for fleet tracking and dispatch. The company says it specializes in integrating digital maps with content drawn from multiple sources. Telcontar is privately held and headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with field offices in Los Angeles, Houston, and the United Kingdom.