- Feb 23, 2011
How your smartphone's GPS can get out of a speeding ticket
Sahas Katta got clocked by a cop doing over 40 in a 25 mph zone. He handed over his info and signed the ticket, but then remembered he was running Google MyTracks on his Motorola Droid. For the uninitiated, MyTracks is an Android app that uses the phone's GPS to record and plot where the user has travelled, allowing you to log a jog, bike ride or drive. After looking at the data and doing some research, Katta discovered that he never crested the 25 mph speed limit and decided to fight the ticket.
You can read the entire account over at SkatterTech, but for the tl;dr crowd, the cop didn't know the last time he went through radar training, when the gun was serviced or the unit's model number. Katta then busted out the GPS data from his Droid, and after reviewing the evidence and Katta's clean driving record, the judge let him off. Granted, he may have just gotten lucky thanks to a uninformed judge and a hapless cop, but the results all the same. Lesson learned. You can download MyTracks here.
If you're not equipped with one of the dozens of Android-powered smartphones on the market, you've got a few alternatives. For the iPhone crowd, there are a myriad of GPS-tracking apps on the market, including the OutFront and myTracks (no relation to the Google-developed app). If you're packing a new Windows Phone 7 device, the pickings are slightly slimmer, but Marathon is porting over its popular Windows Phone 6 app to the new mobile OS and has included several social features into its updated app. TrackSpace and MojoTracker appears to be the best solution for Palm/HP WebOS devices and for those using a Nokia smartphone SportsTracker looks like the best bet.
Check out a videos demos below to get a taste of of OutFront and Marathon, and submit your own selections in the comments below.