December 10, 2010

Inrix vs. Waze - Is There a Future Here?

Interesting article over at TechFlash about the two platforms, with comments from Jim Bak, Inrix's spokesman. Longtime readers here at GPSLodge know that I like to cover both companies, for the newer, let me explain:

Inrix is a leading or the leading provider of high quality traffic coverage through a giant network of GPS probes and traffic sensors. The data is sent out to customers allowing see small road slices worth of traffic data on primary and secondary roads. Their data is used on the web, in media and in their smartphone traffic apps, as well as traffic features on the Navigon App.

Waze is a social driving platform that allows users to map the world (crowd sourcing the map generation) while getting driving directions and navigation from the application and on top of that accumulating points on the game layer of the App. This all happens with the backdrop of being able to see other Wazers' avitars on the screen, and occasionally interact with them.

Waze + Inrix = Future State?

The other day as I was driving up Rt 128 here in metro Boston, flipping between Waze for directions and speed traps, and Inrix for traffic details, I knew that the two were made for each other. TechFlash seems to agree, while pointing out that Waze has a long way to go on the traffic capability side, lacking both the significant data stream for accurate traffic reads and the associated App features. Jim Bak points out that Waze doesn't answer key questions like 'What’s the best way based on traffic to get there?' and 'Given the traffic conditions, how long will it take until I arrive?'

With the recent $25 Million in funding, maybe the traffic track is an area that Waze will seek to buildout, and maybe, just maybe there is a future where Waze community drivers become Inrix traffic probes, and Waze offers Inrix quality traffic insight to their App.

That would be fun, help on the navigational side with the reassurance of knowing if you can avoid that terrible traffic jam while traveling down the road.

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 10, 2010 8:51 AM

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