A system of mobile units are installed in multiple vehicles in traffic. These mobile units include both wireless communications devices and apparatus that determines the location of each vehicle. Monitoring a vehicle's position as a function of time also reveals the velocity of the vehicle. Position and speed information is periodically broadcast by the vehicles to a central monitoring station and to neighboring vehicles. At the central monitoring station, the collective input of a set of vehicles is processed to provide an instant chart of traffic conditions in the area. Warnings of delays or updates on traffic conditions on the road ahead are then automatically returned to subscribers of the information or are used as part of an Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS). Neighboring vehicles within a region communicating with one another form a network in which the broadcast information is processed locally on the respective vehicles to estimate possible problems ahead and consider computing an alternate road and/or checking with the central monitoring station for more information. If out of range of the central monitoring station, the vehicles in the network form a local area network for the exchange and update of information, and when any vehicle in the network is within range of the central monitoring station, the local area network data is uploaded to help update the overall traffic information.