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Trafficmaster YQ²

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YQ² is a screen-based unit that displays information on traffic hold-ups,motorways and trunk roads in England, Wales and Scotland.
Traffic congestion is shown on the map screen as an arrowhead-shaped icon signifying the speed and direction of the traffic

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      02.10.2000 03:34
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      If you use the UK motorways frequently you will have come across a phenomenon that has scientists and engineers baffled. Picture yourself driving at a steady and maybe even legal speed on your way to work, then without warning and for no apparent reason the traffic grinds to a halt. Then a familiar set of events begins to unfold. As you slowly crawl forward you pass a sign suggesting a 50 mph speed limit (fat chance). Then someone comes past using the hard shoulder and finally Your RDS radio switches stations to tell you to avoid the road you are stuck on (thanks!) What you need is some sort of advance warning system to give you time to leave the motorway and take a different route. Well it exists, Trafficmaster a UK based company have slowly covered all motorways and major roads with traffic speed sensors. You will have seen these blue boxes hanging from bridges or on poles by the side of the road and contrary to urban myth they are not speed cameras! but number plate readers that measure the time it takes for cars to pass between fixed points. This traffic flow information is sent back to a computer in Milton Keynes where the average speed are calculated and relayed back via pager signals to cars equipped with Trafficmaster boxes. I have been using the YQ system for 3 years, this is a small LCD screen that sits neatly in a holder on your dash, it displays a crude map of the UK which you can navigate around using a cursor key and two buttons to zoom in and out for more detail. If the average speed drops below 30mph an arrow showing 30 and the direction of travel appears, the speed warnings then decrease in increments of 5mph until they hit the dreaded zero! This means that the traffic has been stationary for over 3 mins and its time to take evasive action, the number of arrows indicate the length of queue (approx 2 miles per arrow). I have found the system to pro
      vides excellent information, which is very reliable and after getting using it on your normal commute you can formulate an emergency escape route from any junction. The YQ costs £150 to buy but comes with the cradle and power lead, then you need to buy an airtime key either 6 months or 12 months, if you opt for the 12 month key it will cost you £9 a month. There is a smaller cheaper unit called the "freeway" (fitted as standard on some Vauxhalls and Jags) this alerts you to jams vocally but only up to 10 miles ahead, I much prefer the YQ as I can look far ahead into my proposed journey route and change my plans well in advance. The next step for Trafficmaster is to combine the YQ with a GPS system so when you see a jam you can plot a route around it automatically. But if like me you are regularly stuck on the M25 or any other major road, take matters into your own hands and arm yourself with the information you need. Buy a Trafficmaster YQ and get home on time!

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