Details on crashes, congestion and construction tying up Florida traffic can be accessed in an instant for iPhone-toting drivers. The Florida Department of Transportation released a free app for Apple devices, called Florida 511, which reports nearby traffic conditions using the device's GPS location. The app has the same information available through the phone call 5-1-1 news alert system and FL511.com.
Upon opening, the app can be set to automatically play an audio report of all traffic issues within a specified traffic range, so a user doesn't have to read the screen. By default it reports traffic conditions within 25 miles, but can be set to give information up to 200 miles out.
The app also gives estimated drive times to reach major nearby highways and allows users to self-report traffic issues with a voice recording message sent to FDOT staff. The app discourages use while driving, displaying a warning message at first launch.
"The goal is to know before you go, not to make that call when you’re on the road," said 511 spokeswoman Vicky Mixson.
Mixson said the app was created at no charge to FDOT by Maryland-based company LogicTree Corp., which developed Florida’s 5-1-1 phone system. LogicTree manages a similar phone traffic system for several states, but this is the company's first smartphone app.
The app delievers information much faster than calling, since the app can automatically determines a user's location, and users can cut directly into the info they need.