A Cellular-Based Highway Exit Information System.
The Senior Design Class of UALR’s Systems Engineering Department would like to propose a solution for SBC’s new “uCommerce” project called eViator. eViator is a cellular-based, highway exit information system. Its goal is to provide customers with information about specific points of interest as they travel along a predetermined route on the highway.
eViator allows the user to enter a web interface where they will provide SBC with the details of an upcoming road trip. The customer will also provide information pertaining to the locations they are interested in being notified about. On the day the trip is scheduled SBC will locate the customers as they begin their trip and then track them as they make progress. As the customer nears the specified points of interest, eViator will notify them via a text message on their cellular phone. Users with web enabled devices will also have access to this information and will be able to access it on the fly.
This project has many potential applications. Immediately, it would able to provide customers with information about gas stations, restaurants, state parks, car washes, etc. It also provides a new venue for companies to advertise to prospective customers. Also, extra income could be realized by giving companies willing to spend more money preferential advertising spots within the system. Eventually eViator could have other applications including:
- Stand-alone service sold to individuals traveling by car
- Service contracted to auto clubs
- Service contracted to transportation companies
- Service contracted to petroleum company credit card divisions as a service to card holders
- Service sold as notification of travel progress to friends and family via email
This solution provided in this proposal will allow for SBC to implement a stand alone system into their existing cellular network. This will allow SBC to offer their customers this service without changing their existing hardware. It will involve the installation of a small network of database servers that use information provided by the existing telephony hardware to locate the customer and supply them with the appropriate information.
The proposal includes a system that could be used for tracking customers using technologies that both SBC and their customers are currently utilizing. Cingular Wireless currently has a contract with a company called TruePosition that has developed a system to track customers using G2.5 cellular technology. This contract is necessary for Cingular to meet Enhanced 9-1-1 FCC guidelines. Their system uses a U-TDOA, uplink-time difference of arrival, to locate customers. The proposed eViator program will also allow leeway for new tracking methods such as GPS or assisted GPS that may be readily available in the near future to be implemented.