Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi’s Jammed Traffic | NPR News
Traffic in Nairobi is so mind-numbing it makes Los Angeles’ Interstate 5 look like the Autobahn. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and trucks that practically park on major boulevards and highways. Street peddlers walk to and fro selling newspapers, flowers, air fresheners and children’s toys to captive audiences. Roundabouts become cartoonishly clogged.
Nairobi is the world’s fourth-most congested city, far worse than any in the U.S., according to a 2011 survey. Kenya’s government estimates traffic jams cost Nairobi $600,000 per day in lost productivity and wasted fuel. That’s $219 million per year.
It all portends more congestion, frustration and waste, unless Nairobi can find a different type of solution for its traffic woes. One team at IBM’s headquarters in Nairobi thinks it has found an answer — and if it works, it could provide relief to millions of commuters throughout the developing world.