As internet technology and the auto industry continue to converge we’re starting to see more and more devices and online services start to spring up, most of which will likely become just another distraction to worry about while driving. However, some devices and services show a great deal of promise and could potentially change the way we all drive and plan our trips.

Earlier this month we saw details about a new mobile phone-based speed trap and red-light camera avoidance system and now we have news about Microsoft’s new Clearflow traffic avoidance system. The Web-based service allows you to plan your trips to avoid certain traffic jam hotspots using live traffic data, reports the New York Times.

Clearflow has been in development for the last five years and relies on artificial intelligence software that predicts how and where people will drive to avoid congested areas. It then takes into account all the possible side streets a driver could take to avoid a jam and generates the least busy route.

Microsoft’s engineers were able to come up with a model that could be applied to a number of cities and is now available free of charge as part of the company’s site.