Monitoring the movements of millions of mobile phones is part of a plan by a Chinese government committee to alleviate traffic congestion.
Mobile base station technology that can determine the distance and direction the phones are travelling can provide real-time information and focus on specific congested areas, including public transit systems, the Beijing Science and Technology Commission said.
Commuters can then obtain specific information about their intended routes and modify them, if necessary.
The system will likely involve triangulating an approximate location of a phone based on signals between the device and mobile towers in the area, ZDNet UK reported. This may or may not involve the GPS in the phone itself.