According to ChinaDaily, the city of Beijing will soon be offering free customized maps for out-of-town drivers entering the city from certain entry and exit points. The maps will be computer-generated and will provide a best route based on a number of factors, including vehicle model, distance, and real-time traffic conditions. The maps can also show restricted access areas for large vehicles or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. A trial program has been in place for about a month at one entry point, and the full program is supposed to be implemented next month. Although it’s not clear from the article, it seems that they will probably have a selection of maps based on general vehicle types, time of day, levels of traffic congestion, etc. and then they will give the driver the appropriate map. If they were individually generated, though, that would be even cooler.
The article doesn’t give too many details, but this seems like a good idea to help drivers navigate through a congested, unfamiliar city. I know there are cities here in the US and elsewhere that could really use a system like this.