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Inrix Reveals Enhanced Traffic-Data Service

Kirkland, Wash. — Inrix today announced enhancements to its traffic-data service that will deliver “guaranteed accurate traffic updates” to navigation device users.

Devices able to access the service will be available in the second half from “several major customers,” said marketing VP Scott Sedlik.

The enhancements include:

  • an expansion of miles covered by the company’s real-time traffic-data service to 800,000 miles, from 50,000 miles, in the top 120 metro markets. The database previously covered freeways and highways within the 120 markets, plus interstates running among them. The new database, said to offer 10 times the coverage of competing databases, adds arterial roads and city streets within the 120 markets.
  • real-time traffic obtained from 800,000 GPS-equipped commercial vehicles that wirelessly report their traffic speeds in real-time to Inrix. Road sensors and other means are also used to collect real-time data. Other companies using GPS-equipped vehicles have only 10,000 to 20,000 vehicles reporting, a spokeswoman said.
  • “intelligent route recalculation” based on real-time traffic information delivered while the driver is driving. Other traffic services provide traffic information upon initial route calculation, and some of them deliver traffic alerts while a driver is driving. The latter services, however, offer alternative routes without knowing traffic conditions on the alternative routes and whether it makes more sense to stay on the current route, Sedlik explained.
  • a “third-generation (3G) “time-intelligent” routing engine that “looks forward” from 15 minutes to days to calculate an optimum route based on expected traffic conditions at those times, Sedlik said. The engine fuses a mix of real-time, historic and predictive traffic information to create a route compared to calculating a route “according to what the traffic is right now,” he explained.

Inrix’s predictive database incorporates such data as sports and concert events that attract more than 5,000 people at a time, school-closing schedules and even planned protest marches, the spokeswoman said.

Inrix president/CEO Bryan Mistele added, “We’re the first in the industry to take future traffic into account. If you’re traveling from Boston to New York, we look ahead in time to see how traffic will evolve over a three-hour drive and give you the best route. It’s a breakthrough. And we’ve put that together in a platform to make it easy for folks to develop applications that include traffic routing and also stock, news, weather and sports updates.”

The platform will be the first to offer “time-intelligent routing” and one of the first to “know” traffic patterns even on back roads, so when the device reroutes you, it will not reroute you into worse traffic than your present route, Mistele continued. He called the service “Red Bull” for navigation/telematics devices.