Apple iPhone users can now get personalized traffic information thanks to an application developed by scientists at the University of California, San Diego’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Calit2.

The application provides users with commute times on specific sections of highway based on current traffic conditions, traffic speeds and congestions, and traffic maps based on data supplied by Caltrans. It covers highways in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, as well as the Bay Area, including San Francisco and San Jose.

Like so many inventions, the application was not what its developers — recent UCSD bioengineering graduate Sam Fernald and Calit2 development engineer Ganz Chockalingam — originally had in mind. “We began to write a Java application for other phones but it became cumbersome because of the wide variety of phone interfaces,” said Chockalingam, in a UCSD news release.

The application can be downloaded for free from Apple’s app store. Users have to register at Calit2 to get the personalized functions.

DAVID WASHBURN

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