Congestion prediction information from JARTIC (Road Traffic Information Center). You can see traffic congestion predictions for each day and hour.
Business Insider Japan
Many people are planning to travel or go home during the Obon holidays. Traffic jams are a concern when traveling by car.
According to the announcements of expressway companies, the peak in 2022 is likely to be around August 11th for downhills and around August 14th for downhills. When it comes to avoiding traffic jams as much as possible, I still want to use smartphone map apps and car navigation apps.
In this article, we will explain how to use the application and traffic congestion prediction as a countermeasure against traffic congestion.
View traffic information on Google Maps
Assuming that you are prepared for a certain amount of traffic congestion only at the time of the year, it is easier to select a route and set a rest time if you first grasp how much traffic there is.
For example, in Google Maps, when you tap the layer button in the upper right corner of the screen, “traffic information” is prepared in “map details”. When this is turned on, the current traffic situation is displayed in different colors for easy understanding.
Turning on “traffic information” in the Google Maps app. The red line is congested, and traffic decreases from orange to green.
By the way, if you use Google Maps from your computer’s web browser, you can also check traffic congestion predictions for each day of the week and time. If you want to know in advance how crowded it will be, use it.
If you use the PC version of Google Maps, you can check the congestion forecast for each place by specifying the day of the week and time.
View traffic jam map with iOS genuine map or Yahoo! car navigation system
The iOS genuine map app also has a similar function.
To use it, you can check real-time traffic information by tapping the icon that looks like a folding screen in the upper right and selecting “Drive”.
In addition, Yahoo! Car Navi, a popular free car navigation app, has an icon labeled “Traffic Information” in the upper right corner of the screen, which you can tap to check the latest traffic information.
Traffic information in iOS maps app.
Traffic information on Yahoo! car navigation.
Also, if you have a fixed route and want to find out when the congestion on a specific expressway is likely to get worse, we recommend the JARTIC (Japan Road Traffic Information Center) site. You can view traffic congestion predictions for a specified date for free. It would be nice to check the traffic forecast on JARTIC, search for a route using a map/car navigation app, decide on a schedule, and set off.
At JARTIC (Road Traffic Information Center), you can see traffic congestion forecasts with a specified date.
By the way, it’s pretty hard to decide which apps are good for directions. Basically, it is safe to use a familiar map / car navigation application that has been registered as a favorite.
However, Google Maps seems to have a lot of efficiency-oriented route suggestions, and some of them will guide you to narrow roads that you think are “difficult to go through here.” Be careful if you are not used to driving or if you are driving in an unfamiliar area.
How to find congestion information for SAs and PAs where you can take a break
Rest points are also important when traveling long distances by car. If you are traveling on the expressway, you will stop by the SA or PA area to take a break, so I would like to know the congestion information of the SA and PA.
Unfortunately, there is no web service or app that covers SA and PA information nationwide. It’s probably easiest to check the information provided by each expressway company.
For example, “iHighway” (https://www.c-ihighway.jp/smp/) provided by NEXCO Central Japan Service has congestion on the Tomei, Shin-Tomei, and Chuo Expressway SAs and PAs under its jurisdiction. You can check the status.
If this is a highway under the jurisdiction of NEXCO West Japan Service such as Meishin and Sanyo Expressway, the URL is different even if it is the same “iHighway” (https://ihighway.jp/pcsite/). If you decide the route to travel in advance and decide which expressway to use, check the website of each management company.
NEXCO Central Japan service “iHighway”. It has a design that is easy to see even on a smartphone web browser.
NEXCO West Japan Service offers an application version of “iHighway”. They are easier to see.
Points to note when using a smartphone navigation app in a car from the passenger seat
One thing you should be aware of when traveling long distances by car is your smartphone battery.
When using a smartphone as a car navigation system, in addition to constantly lighting the display, GPS operation, reading map data, connecting to car audio via Bluetooth, and playing music distribution services, etc. Using it consumes a lot of battery.
Many cars are equipped with AC power and USB connectors these days, but if you don’t have one, it’s convenient to prepare an adapter that can convert from a cigarette lighter socket to USB and charge.
Since the car navigation application consumes the battery, prepare an environment where it can be charged.
Photo: Satoshi Nakayama
In that case, you want to be careful about smartphone holders. The driver cannot operate the smartphone while driving, but in order to make it easier to see from the passenger seat, it is convenient to fix it somewhere so that it can be checked as a display.
Among the smartphone holders, there are many types that can be attached to the windshield with suction cups, but the safety standards for road vehicles stipulate that only vehicle inspection stickers and ETC sensors can be attached to the windshield, and the range is also specified. ing.
Therefore, sticking anything to the windshield should be avoided for safety reasons.
I love the magnetic holder that I bought at a 100-yen shop. The magnet inside the smartphone case is a separate large type sandwiched between the cases.
Photo: Satoshi Nakayama
In addition, holders that use the air outlet of an air conditioner are also common, but this also cools the smartphone due to the effect of the air conditioner, and condensation may occur when taken outside, causing malfunction.
I want to be careful not to cool my smartphone too much by adjusting the airflow direction of the air conditioner outlet.
(Written by Satoshi Nakayama)