AT&T Tackles Traffic Congestion With ‘Group Bidding’

AT&T has invented a system that could allow drivers to control traffic lights by submitting group bids, according to a patent obtained by The Donohue Report on Tuesday.

“If the ad hoc group of mobile devices wins the auction, then the resource server times the traffic light to ensure all the vehicles in the ad hoc group speed through the intersection,” AT&T states in the patent, titled, “Ad-hoc group bidding.”

Chien
Inventor Ginger Chien

The invention could also allow consumers to submit bids for parking spaces or give pedestrians with mobile devices the ability to “influence the duration of time for walking” a crosswalk, according to AT&T. Ginger Chien, a device architect at AT&T Mobility, is named as lead inventor on the patent that was published today.

Abstract: Mobile devices band together in an ad hoc grouping based on their location. As the mobile devices travel, their users may have a shared, mutual goal at a common location. The mobile devices having the common location are invited to join the ad hoc grouping. Should any of the mobile devices accept and join the ad hoc grouping, the users may act as a cohesive unit and bid to achieve their shared, mutual goal.

Patent

Claims:

1. A method, comprising: receiving, at a server comprising a processor, an access request sent from a requesting mobile device, the access request specifying a location associated with a shared, mutual goal for an ad hoc grouping; storing, in memory of the server, current locations of mobile devices that are registered for ad hoc grouping; querying the memory for the location specified in the access request to identify candidate mobile devices, among the mobile devices registered for ad hoc grouping, having a current location and a shared, mutual goal that match the location and the shared, mutual goal of the access request; retrieving network addresses of the candidate mobile devices; sending invitations to the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices, the invitations inviting the candidate mobile devices to join the ad hoc grouping; receiving acceptances sent from ones of the candidate mobile devices invited to join the ad hoc grouping; and forming the ad hoc grouping from the ones of the candidate mobile devices accepting the invitations, wherein the ad hoc grouping is spontaneously created based on the current location of the ones of the candidate mobile devices, and wherein the shared, mutual goals of the candidate mobile devices are stored in the memory before the access request is sent by the requesting mobile device.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising querying the memory for the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising grouping together the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices matching both the location and the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising sending a group bid from the server in an auction for a resource, the group bid based on negotiations between the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising determining a processional order for the ad hoc grouping based on an individual contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices to the group bid.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving a response at the server that declines to join the ad hoc grouping.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining an equal contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.

8. A system, comprising: a processor; and memory storing instructions that when executed cause the processor to perform operations, the operations comprising: receiving an access request sent from a requesting mobile device, the access request specifying a location associated with a shared, mutual goal for an ad hoc grouping; storing, in the memory, current locations of mobile devices that are registered for ad hoc grouping; querying the memory for the location specified in the access request to identify candidate mobile devices, among the mobile devices registered for ad hoc grouping, having a current location and a shared, mutual goal that match the location and the shared, mutual goal of the access request; retrieving network addresses of the candidate mobile devices; sending invitations to the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices, the invitations inviting the candidate mobile devices to join the ad hoc grouping; receiving acceptances sent from ones of the candidate mobile devices invited to join the ad hoc grouping; and forming the ad hoc grouping from the ones of the candidate mobile devices accepting the invitations, wherein the ad hoc grouping is spontaneously created based on the current location of the ones of the candidate mobile devices, and wherein the shared, mutual goals of the candidate mobile devices are stored in the memory before the access request is sent by the requesting mobile device.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the operations further comprise querying the memory for the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the operations further comprise grouping together the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices matching both the location and the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

11. The system of claim 8, wherein the operations further comprise sending a group bid in an auction for a resource, the group bid based on negotiations between the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the operations further comprise determining a processional order for the ad hoc grouping based on an individual contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices to the group bid.

13. The system of claim 8, wherein the operations further comprise receiving a response that declines to join the ad hoc grouping.

14. The system of claim 8, wherein the operations further comprise determining an equal contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.

15. A memory storing instructions that when execute cause a processor to perform operations, the operations comprising: receiving an access request sent from a requesting mobile device, the access request specifying a location and a shared, mutual goal for an ad hoc grouping; storing current locations of mobile devices that are registered for ad hoc grouping; querying for the location specified in the access request to identify candidate mobile devices, among the mobile devices registered for ad hoc grouping, having a current location and a shared, mutual goal that match the location and the shared, mutual goal of the access request; retrieving network addresses of the candidate mobile devices; sending invitations to the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices, the invitations inviting the candidate mobile devices to join the ad hoc grouping; receiving acceptances sent from ones of the candidate mobile devices invited to join the ad hoc grouping; and forming the ad hoc grouping from the ones of the candidate mobile devices accepting the invitations, wherein the ad hoc grouping is spontaneously created from the ones of the candidate mobile devices, and wherein the shared, mutual goals of the candidate mobile devices are stored before the access request is sent by the requesting mobile device.

16. The memory of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise querying for the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

17. The memory of claim 16, wherein the operations further comprise grouping together the network addresses of the candidate mobile devices matching both the location and the shared, mutual goal specified in the access request.

18. The memory of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise sending a group bid in an auction for a resource, the group bid based on negotiations between the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.

19. The memory of claim 18, wherein the operations further comprise determining a processional order for the ad hoc grouping based on an individual contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices to the group bid.

20. The memory of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise time determining an equal contribution from each one of the candidate mobile devices forming the ad hoc grouping.