ITD's popular 511 app gets new features

The Idaho Traveler Services 511 smart-phone application (app) just got better with the release of several major upgrades, including a new hands-free option.

ITD's free 511 App for smart phones and tablet devices is a recent addition to the department's popular 511 Traveler Information system that puts up-to-the-minute information about the condition of Idaho highways at the fingertips of drivers.

The new "TellMe" version of the 511 App will replace the current version of the app available for IPhones, IPads and Android devices. It will still have all the capabilities of the current version, explained Tony Ernest, ITD's traveler services coordinator.

"People can run the new 511 App as they drive down the highway in their vehicle, and get hands-free, eyes-free updates about events on the roadway ahead of them," Ernest said. "The app will verbally alert motorists to accidents, roadwork or other incidents going on around them within a five-mile radius when they first start it up. Then, the app will tell them about incidents occurring in a cone ahead of them, as they travel down the highway."

Another important upgrade to the application makes information from Idaho's Road Weather Stations (RWIS) appear as a new display layer. RWIS hazardous travel alerts that currently appear on the 511 website – a unique feature to Idaho's 511 website – will now appear on the app too.

Finally, a new specialized "Trucker's" version of the app is available.

"This is like our standard app, but reformats much of the information available to concentrate on commercial vehicle restrictions," Ernest explained. "The idea is very much like the current trucker's pages on our website and 5-1-1 phone system. We hope to include more layers in the future such as 'Weigh Stations' and 'Truck Escape Ramps.'"

Since deploying the 511 application for smart phones and tablets in 2014, the app has been downloaded more than 18,700 times. The updated 511 App may be downloaded now for Android or Apple devices.

Published 04-17-15