Microsoft Exploring High-Tech Solutions to Reduce Silicon Valley's Traffic Gridlock - NBC Bay Area
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Microsoft Exploring High-Tech Solutions to Reduce Silicon Valley's Traffic Gridlock

The program is called "Vision Zero" because one of its goals is to reduce traffic deaths and injuries to zero.

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    Traffic in the South Bay has gotten worse as the local economy has gotten better, so perhaps it's fitting that a tech company is working on a solution to try and make your commute a little faster.Scott Budman reports. (Published Thursday, March 10, 2016)

    Traffic in the South Bay has gotten worse as the local economy has gotten better, so perhaps it's fitting that a tech company is working on a solution to try and make your commute a little faster.

    Inside Microsoft's Silicon Valley headquarters, they're crunching the numbers, using software to tackle the difficult problem of improving San Jose traffic.

    "We'll be looking at data from the last five years here in San Jose to study traffic patterns, enforcement patterns, to help policymakers make good decisions when it comes to traffic planning across the Silicon Valley," said Sid Espinosa, Microsoft's director of civic engagement and former mayor of Palo Alto.

    It's the very beginning of a long-range plan to improve road safety and lower commute times, and San Jose has been chosen as one of the test cities, which city leaders appreciate but look at with an understandable dose of skepticism.

    "That is very meaningful to folks in San Jose," said San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Herrera.

    But...

    "It's certainly not a panacea," Herrera said. "There's no silver bullet for this. But using data that we already have, and being able to analyze that, and slice and dice and look at, What is the best place to put our money?"

    The program, which officially kicks off Friday, is called "Vision Zero," because one of its goals is to reduce traffic deaths and injuries to zero.

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