The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission launched a new iPhone and Droid application that reads audio alerts to travelers when there's a closure or delay in their way.
TRIP Talk senses your position and direction on the Turnpike and talks to you when it detects trouble spots nearby. Unlike other travel-alert tools out there, TRIP Talk is hands free and eyes free. Just turn it on before you depart, and it does the rest.
The app provides up-to-the minute information about accidents, construction or bad weather for the sections of Turnpike you're approaching.
Once activated, the application remains on during the trip, broadcasting travel-condition alerts reported within a pre-established mile range. The app picks a default range based on your region, but users can customize settings that work best for them.
Conditions are broadcast once, and the broadcast stream stays quiet until it receives an alert update or when the user comes in range of a new alert. The app replays alerts that are still in range after a certain interval selected by the user. If the user gets or makes a call while an alert is playing, the alert will pause and resume playing when the call is ended.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is partnering with State Farm Insurance, whose sponsorship is helping to defray application-development and hosting costs and to provide ongoing resources for future application enhancements and revisions. The company, headquartered in Bloomington, Ill., has also supported the Turnpike's State Farm Safety Patrol since 2007.
TRIP Talk was developed in collaboration with Voicenet Communications Inc., Philadelphia, which is the Pa. Turnpike's longtime web provider. It is built on Voicenet's patent-pending Open Microphone Platform, a queue-driven, voice-streaming technology that leverages the onboard GPS in smartphones.
To download the free app, visit: www.paturnpike.com/triptalk