Dissertation: Reducing traffic congestion in Malta by implementing a geolocation application

With traffic having increased substantially in recent years, regulations have been adapted and new ones implemented to minimize traffic congestion and limit the occurrence of accidents. More than ever before, traffic laws are being enforced to make sure there is no exploitation which could harm the driver or anyone else.  More specifically, a general set of rules has been designed to ensure proper driving safety in countries abroad so as to minimize confusion while driving in countries with different road systems.

The current traffic problem which Malta is facing is quite incremental, especially during rush hours, when traffic can be quite heavy and immobilizing, with a 15 minute trip often lasting up to an hour or more. Typically, rush hours in Malta occur between 7.00am – 9.00am and 4.00pm – 7.00pm, especially in winter where work and school hours start and finish at the same time, this increasing the probability for a traffic standstill situation. Also due to the country’s small dimensions, most streets cross through more than one town and this requires a lot of roundabouts, traffic lights and zebra crossing for pedestrians, yet another factor which contributes to traffic congestion and standstill situations during rush hours.

With the technology available on a smartphone device it is easy to develop an application for a specific purpose and a lot of applications are being developed to aid users in everyday tasks. Over time, these simple tasks can end up being very frustrating and time consuming and this is what pushes developers to create applications which make life easier. This is the same case with the traffic reporting application.

Applications for this purpose have already been developed but some of them have very limited features and are difficult to use or understand.  Most users do not bother learning how the application works and end up uninstalling the application. Thus, with this in mind, a redesign of such an application is being proposed with an interface which is relatively easy to use and understand and with a lot of simple features that the user might find useful for a trip. Moreover, although the application’s intent was to reduce traffic congestion, it proved to be a useful tool for other purposes, such as a navigation guide.

It must be noted that despite the fact that the application was developed to reduce traffic congestion and aid drivers in their journey, in practice it only offers a partial solution to the prevailing problem of traffic congestion, and definite results could only be obtained once the application is released.