British research firm Machina has released a white paper that looks at the coming data jams that could result from traffic jams. Since a buildup of cellphones in an area can already cause overall network speeds to drop, the suggestion is that once connected cars and all of their subsequently connected devices are bunched up in stationary traffic, network efficiency could suffer greatly. That would not only crimp the ability to make calls, but might interfere with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, too.

The paper, it must be known, was sponsored by Teoco, a US company that engineers network management solutions for global telecom companies. Still, Teoco's funds don't make the issue any less real: Gartner research says that by 2020 there will be more than 250,000 vehicles making some sort of wireless connection, and by 2024 Machina expects half of the 2.3 billion machine-to-machine connections made over mobile networks to come from automobiles.

The two solutions presented are for device makers to make sure their products play nice with every other device, and for network companies to plan for the increase in data surges and chaotic demand at individual sites as opposed to over the entire network. We imagine they are doing this already, but now you have the numbers to explain why Waze won't update just when you need it most.


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