There are a great deal of traffic reports on local radio stations, as any Bangkok motorist or hapless taxi passenger can testify. These can often be a big help but the hard part is sorting through all the data to find updates on areas that are of specific interest to you: your neighbourhood, for instance, or the area in which your workplace is located or some part of the city to which you are currently heading.
FM91BKK is a mobile app, developed by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), that filters news from a total of 91 radio stations to meet your specific needs. You can opt to access traffic reports for areas that especially concern you, as well as news coverage on specific subjects.
Nectec researcher Rattapoom Tuchinda said a pre-existing data-monitoring system has been applied to social media platforms like Twitter and extra value has been added by offering event analysis and data coordination.
"This is a further development of Nectec's Traffy project in which we offer users the chance to integrate with our system through an application protocol integration," said Rattapoom, adding that the original version of the FM91BKK app has been available to the general public since May this year and so far attracted some 8,000 users.
Version 2, which has improved communications features, allows users to ask radio stations for additional help, will be introduced this month. Nectec expects to enroll some 50,000 users for the updated version.
Of the 50,000 locations listed in the app for traffic reports, 6,000 will also be monitored for reports of criminal activity. Users can elect to be informed of traffic news for areas around their home, office, children's schools, etc.
They can also access accident statistics for 96 hotspots and intersections with statistics of frequent accidents nationwide, listing which have CCTV cameras installed.
You can even get reports about earthquakes _ in that rare eventuality. Users can also apply for a service which keeps them informed of breaking news; this is provided by radio stations and sent to them via their mobile phones.
Rattapoom added that a GPS feature hooked up with a mobile phone allows motorists and other users to call for help in emergency situations or to forward alerts to other handsets in which the FM91BKK programme has been installed.
The FM91BKK app and other creative projects on which Nectec has cooperated can be viewed at an exhibition organised to coincide with Nectec Annual Conference and Exhibition which is being held at Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok from Sept 18 to 20.