Chet Skwarcan is an award-winning engineer, writer, and industry innovator in the field of traffic engineering. He is known for leveraging his creativity, logic, and technology to solve today’s engineering challenges.

Don’t Worry. Just Drive.

If you’ve ever used GPS apps while you travel, you’ve probably noticed location-specific advertising popping up (because after all, they know where you are and where you are headed). Also known as geo-fencing or location-based analytics, this technology creates a virtual perimeter — a dynamically generated radius around a point (i.e., “you”). Let’s fast forward to see where this technology is headed — remember, every place you go is recorded. This allows for some pretty interesting alerts — here are a few examples…

Because you tend to eat lunch at Chik-fil-A about once a week or so and it’s now approaching lunchtime, and because you’ll be driving by a Chick-fil-A in about two minutes, your GPS announces, “Can I place a Chick-fil-A lunch order for you? It will be ready when you arrive.”

Or, if you’re getting kind of low on gas, “The Sinclair gas station on your right has a better price than any other gas station along today’s route. And by the way, if you stop now, and I mean right now, you’ll get a free car wash if you mention this app.”

And, based on your “history” of mid-morning coffee stops, at the perfect confluence of time and location, “For the next ten minutes, get 50% off your espresso at Java Joe’s — just mention the phrase: Running Latte.”

The possibilities created when meshing location, time of day, travel history, and preferences, allow for a custom experience whenever you travel. It’s mimicking YouTube’s algorithm making recommendations based on your viewing history meshed with preferences from users with a similar profile, except now it’s being applied to your driving experience.

Guess what? Do you need your weekly combo meal but you’re on a tight schedule — see that guy standing in the middle of the road? That’s for you. Roll down your window…NOW!


Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online help available at