Elon Musk Believes We Need to Build More Tunnels to Alleviate Traffic Congestion

Elon Musk is quite a vocal figure in the technology world and known for making some rather intriguing predictions.  Recently, Musk answered a number of questions during the Hyperloop Design Competition awards ceremony across a wide range of topics including Hyperloop, SpaceX, Tesla and Mars. On the Mars project, Musk said:

“I think the most important thing is to maintain a self-sustaining city on Mars,”  

“I think that’s the most important thing for humanity. If we have a self-sustaining city on Mars … that could ultimately lead us to go beyond the solar system.”

He also went onto discuss the current traffic congestion problems around the world and suggested a suitable fix:

“Tunnels are great. It’s just a hole in the ground” 

“It’s not that hard, but if you have tunnels in cities, it would massively alleviate congestion. You could have tunnels at all different levels, you could have 30 layers of tunnels and completely relieve the congestion problem in high-density cities. So, I highly suggest tunnels.”

This is an interesting theory and it could help reduce traffic congestion by a significant margin. As the population increases, and major cities become extremely packed, it’s vital to find new ways to reduce the stress on public transport. Musk’s concept is practical but it could take a long time to even be considered. In huge cities like London, commuters usually have to deal with large crowds, and it can be challenging to find a comfortable form of transport. Vehicles also have the problem of moving at a very pedestrian pace, as traffic jams become a regular occurrence.

Something has to be done, because the population density in major cities is increasing. I can’t really think of an alternative to Musk’s idea, but then again, it’s going to take an absurd amount of time to even analyse the potential for underground tunnels on a mass scale.

AT&T Says NO to the FCC’s $100 Million Throttling Fine

If you read about it, AT&T just got fined last month for allegedly throttling customers with ‘unlimited’ data plan. To sum it up, the FCC saw that AT&T had been “severely” slowing down users while not telling those users about the caps placed on their speed. So, they decided to fine them with a staggering $100 million.

If you think the FCC is asking for a lot of money, they apparently aren’t. According to them, they first decided to fine AT&T with up to $16,000 per violation for millions of violations, but the figures were so ridiculously high that they went with the latter sum instead. Even so, AT&T now thinks that they did nothing wrong.

“The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible,” AT&T wrote in a response to the FCC. “Its ‘moderate’ forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority.”

AT&T now states that the FCC is infringing their First Amendment right by demanding the company to tell customers of their FCC rule violation. But let’s face it, when you say ‘unlimited’, you don’t really mention about network slowdowns. Another interesting thing is that AT&T recently changed their policy for throttling LTE users after they pass 5GB of data. This means that unlimited data LTE users now get throttled during the time when the network is highly congested. Previously, unlimited data LTE customers used to get throttled for the rest of the month after passing 5GB of download. But despite AT&T’s attempts to convince the FCC it did nothing wrong, they are also facing a court order from the commission, which aims to bring millions of dollars of refunds to consumers.

In my opinion, throttling customer speeds, either on mobile data or the fiber optic speed you ‘get’ at home is not an option. I know a lot of internet providers face huge amounts of network congestion, but is that our or the network’s fault? I think mobile and ISP providers should focus on spending that money on upgrading their networks to handle more connections instead of keeping the speed throttling habit. What do you think?

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Traffic Alerts and Alternate Routes Now Available in Google Maps

If you are planning to take a trip in the near future or are already on the road, you might consider taking a look at what Google Maps has to offer. The search giant has just updated its maps app with a new traffic alert and alternate route feature.

The new features will aid users on the road by providing some more details and alerts for unusual traffic conditions, road congestions, and even suggestions for alternate paths to take. But lets expand a bit more on that. Once you enter a destination, the app can now work solutions around roadblocks and warn you of upcoming congestions.

To make it easier, once the app knows you are heading towards heavy traffic, it automatically offers some alternatives to save you some time. If you still choose to go and stay in line with the others trapped in traffic, the app will also offer you an estimated time you will be stuck there. The latter might be neat, but why get stuck in traffic in the first place?

While the above might seem something that you see in most apps today, there’s still a key feature that makes it stand out. Aside from the alerts and suggestions, the Google Maps app will now tell you a ‘why’. By that I mean that the app will tell you why the road ahead is blocked or why it decided to give you this alternative route and not another one. Pretty neat, huh?

Thank you SlashGear for providing us with this information