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Tele Atlas Offers Advanced GPS Info

11/19/2008 04:04:00 PM Eastern

‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands —GPS mapmaker Tele Atlas announced it is offering “speed profiles” for GPS devices that help give an accurate estimated time of arrival by taking into account traffic lights and other traffic obstacles.

Tele Atlas said it is now the only digital mapmaker to use historical traffic patterns to determine realistic arrival times in GPS devices. Most GPS systems, said the company, do not take into consideration traffic lights, school hours and other factors that can alter times of arrival or help the GPS device select the fastest route to a destination.

Tele Atlas said its new “speed profiles” service uses data from almost half a trillion speed measurements shared by consumers over the past 2.5 years in 26 countries. 

The company said about 20 million miles of roads have been driven and measured more than 2,000 times at different times of the day and different days of the week to produce the new data. Tele Atlas can then give estimated arrival times based on the time of day in five-minute increments on heavily traveled roads.

Earlier this week, the only other leading mapmaker, Navteq, announced it was also adding advanced road-speed information to its map service. Instead of using historic speed profiles, it is partnering with its new owner, Nokia, to use road-speed information collected in real time from Nokia mobile phone users to offer “live” road-speed reports. . But Navteq’s program is in a trial stage. 

 TomTom, which owns Tele Atlas, is also collecting live road-speed data in Europe and said it plans to bring the service to the U.S. in the future.

 A third-party traffic service in the U.S., Inrix, also offers historical and predictive road-speed information to GPS makers and to map makers.