Man Creates a Virtual Traffic Jam With a Wagon Full of Cell Phones

Google Maps might be an excellent navigation and traffic tool that’s highly useful, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fooled. Take the case of German artist Simon Weckert, who tricked the renowned app into thinking that a completely empty street was bustling with traffic. What he did was nothing short of genius. He filled a wagon with 99 smartphones and opened Maps navigation on all of them. He then slowly pulled the wagon through the streets of Berlin, ironically including the street right outside Google’s office. Soon enough, the street could be seen blazing red with traffic on Google Maps. It turns out that Google uses a method where it crowdsources traffic data all around the world. Smartphones used by people in cars provide the necessary information to Google, such as the speed at which they are moving and how many smartphones are on that particular street. In Weckert’s case, 99 cars piled up one after another on the small street, creating a virtual traffic jam. People who were using Google Maps at the time were told to avoid the street because of the congestion. If anyone did take the street, it’s likely they were left scratching their head.