A Wagon Full of Phones Equals a “Virtual” Traffic Jam

I am always on the hunt for smart and clever ideas to recommend to my clients for their scripts. This recent article (This Man Created Traffic Jams on Google Maps Using a Red Wagon Full of Phones) is a perfect example of the kind of detail that will turn your story from ordinary to extraordinary!

Artist Simon Wreckert rented 99 smartphones and 99 sim cards. First, he took each phone and spent about an hour walking back and forth on the street to create a “virtual” traffic jam. Then, he loaded up all 99 phones into a red wagon and pulled it behind him.

“Wherever he went, Google Maps showed a congested traffic jam. People using Google Maps would see a thick red line indicating congestion on the road, even when there was no traffic at all. Each and every one of those 99 phones had Google Maps open, giving the virtual illusion that the roads were jam packed.”

This caused cars using Google Maps to choose alternate routes to avoid the “jam.” Wreckert was essentially controlling the city’s traffic.

There are possibilities for heroes and villains for this idea.

What if a team of criminals created a virtual traffic jam as a distraction so that the jewelry thief could make a clean getaway?


What if the police created a “virtual” traffic jam to force a criminal to come to where they were waiting?


What if a romantic road trip that was supposed to lead to a marriage proposal is ruined by a “virtual” traffic jam by a jealous ex?


What if a traffic engineer creates a “virtual” traffic jam to help the police catch a child kidnapper?

Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?

[Credit: flickr/Vormingplus.foto]

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