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Traffic iPhone app goes national and launches Twitter and Facebook sharing
If you ever wanted to share your “road rage” while in a traffic jam and broadcast it to all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, now you can. Aha Mobile, which makes a free iPhone app to let you know information around you while your driving – road congestion, nearest gas stations, coffee shop, etc. – just released on Wednesday a national version of its newly-launched service, plus a way to share experiences on the road with social network buddies by simply talking into the iPhone.
“People are always leaving traffic reports [on their Twitter and Facebook accounts],” said Robert Acker, CEO of Aha Mobile, a young startup that received $3 million in financing from Venrock this past spring. “So, we’ve created a simple way that you can shout and have it available on Twitter.”
It’s a pretty interesting idea. Even if no one on Facebook and Twitter tune into your broadcasts, at least you can express your rage and feel like someone out there cares or caught a glimpse of your pain.
But it’s not just your outbursts about why traffic is moving at a crawl, you can share just about anything, from random thoughts to your version of The Beatles’ “I am a walrus.”
Aha Mobile, which released its application last month, has a community feature that was built originally to allow users to provide information about traffic. But because many early beta testers wanted to share more than just traffic information, Aha created “Aha Shouts” or “Car-aoke Shouts,” said Acker.
The way it works is that you can either input where you are going or tune into a channel (i.e. Channel highway 101, or Channel highway 80) or just turn on Aha and it will know where you are and the direction you’re heading and give you information about the road around you. The information is provided by users as well as professional reports from Inrix and ClearChannel.
In order to maintain accurate information, users can give a thumbs up and thumbs down to anyone giving bad reports. Enough thumbs down will discredit someone from posting more reports.
You can see it now – a whole new channel of car pundits, or traffic broadcasters available on your iPhone. Not sure this type of engagement is safe for drivers dishing out the information on the road. But it should be interesting for those receiving the information, particularly information about road congestion on the highways around you.
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