I did a little research about Europe’s ability for vehicles to see traffic and accident conditions in their car automatically (for example overlaid on a GPS map), and I’m a little more educated about it now. It’s called TMC (Traffic Message Channel), and most European countries support it now. It transmits info to receivers via FM transmission towers.
To make a long story short, we are going to be getting it in the United States very soon and will go live hopefully sometime in 2005 via existing FM transmitters. Not only that, but NAVTEQ is coming out with a system called XM NavTraffic, which will let vehicles get traffic data via XM satellite feeds if they are out of range of an existing FM transmitter.
All I can say is, cool. Almost makes me want to wait to buy a car, although I’m sure there will be lots of after-market systems to support it in existing cars.