Green Navigation Services - 21/08/2012

Providing Routes that have Health Benefits

BYHassan A. Karimi, University of Pittsburgh, USA

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It is important to start this article by making a distinction between navigation systems and services. The main difference between navigation systems and services is that the former operates within a stand-alone computing environment (e.g., an in-car navigation system) whereas the latter operates within a distributed computing environment (e.g., a smartphone receiving navigation guidance from a service provider). Regardless of the operating environment, both can assist users in different modes of travel (driving, walking and biking) with their mobility. Users of navigation systems and services routinely request shortest or fastest routes for travelling from one location to another. This is because, at least for most trips, people prefer to optimise their mobility with respect to travel distance. While the ultimate goal of using navigation systems and services is to address the problem of ‘not getting lost’, especially in unfamiliar environments, there is an inherent desire by users to address the problem of ‘not getting there late’. The notion of ‘not getting there late’ or ‘getting there fast’ provides a rationale for current navigation systems and services to provide shortest and fastest routes as default route choices. While common optimal routes, such as shortest and fastest, are widely requested from navigation systems and services and routinely utilised by people, such routes may not be beneficial to the health of people, to the environment, or for conserving energy.  

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Last updated: 27/02/2018