Traffic News

November 21, 2012

Apps to Avoid Thanksgiving Day Traffic

Over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving? Here are a few Apps designed to help you minimize Thanksgiving Traffic.

personally, I use all three together sometimes to get the best read. If you need to truly navigate around the traffic, buy the TomTom App. If you can dead reckon your way, you can use use the Inrix, because it doesn't navigate, but it does have high quality data. Waze offers both navigation and traffic, but the long distance navigation isn't quite as good as TomTom's.

Smartphones

1) Inrix Traffic App - It's free and it's backed by a powerful network of data feeds. I think it's accurate, but sometimes lags in picking up dynamically forming traffic jams. It's free and a must-have for a smartphone - available for iPhone, Android, BB, and Windows 8 - start at InrixTraffic

2) Waze - "Outsmarting Traffic Together" is their logo, need I say more? I like the fact that you can get earlier updates of fast forming traffic issues because of the user inputs. That means though that you need to have users ahead of you leaving you alerts that traffic is bad. Waze also has an underlying color-coded map for traffic issues. Its also a decent navigation App - I like it because people also alert you to speed traps! I use it in conjunction with Inrix - available for iPhone and Android - start at the Waze Website

3) TomTom Navigation with Traffic Subscription - It you're serious about smartphone navigation and traffic in one, bite off on TomTom navigation and upgrade to their HD Traffic for an additional $25. They alert to traffic along your route and then re-route you around it if possible. Save money by buying a regional product that only gives you what you need. Available for the iPhone - Start at the TomTom Website


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 24, 2012

How do Traffic Apps Work?

There are a lot of people who are using Traffic Apps these days, as well as using next generation GPS units that have connected traffic capabilities. We're not talking about the old TMC traffic that gives you a blunt look at what's on the road, and barely a warning where traffic is turning bad. We're talking down to the quarter mile, primary and secondary roads look at traffic speed versus regular speed limits.

Inrix comes to mind as a leading provider, but TomTom has also used their installed base of smartphone users to learn of traffic issues. Not only do they gather raw data from their installed base of users on smartphones, but they also assemble data from fixed sensors, and road coils to learn the actual speeds.

Today the Wall St Journal has a brief article explaining the technology, while also pointing out other providers like Clear Channel's Beat the Traffic.

Read More at the WSJ on Traffic

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 29, 2012

Avoid Traffic for Labor Day

A lot of people are going to finish off the summer season with a long weekend. Traffic is supposed to be heavy starting as early as Friday Morning. For many, that might mean sitting in traffic for a few hours - here are a few tips to help you avoid the mess:

Smartphones

1) Inrix Traffic App - It's free and it's backed by a powerful network of data feeds. I think it's accurate, but sometimes lags in picking up dynamically forming traffic jams. It's free and a must-have for a smartphone - available for iPhone, Android, BB, and Windows 8 - start at InrixTraffic

2) Waze - "Outsmarting Traffic Together" is their logo, need I say more? I like the fact that you can get earlier updates of fast forming traffic issues because of the user inputs. That means though that you need to have users ahead of you leaving you alerts that traffic is bad. Waze also has an underlying color-coded map for traffic issues. Its also a decent navigation App - I like it because people also alert you to speed traps! I use it in conjunction with Inrix - available for iPhone and Android - start at the Waze Website

3) TomTom Navigation with Traffic Subscription - It you're serious about smartphone navigation and traffic in one, bite off on TomTom navigation and upgrade to their HD Traffic for an additional $25. They alert to traffic along your route and then re-route you around it if possible. Save money by buying a regional product that only gives you what you need. Available for the iPhone - Start at the TomTom Website

Standalone GPS Devices

A lot of devices talk about good traffic, but you need to have a connected one to get good traffic data and insight into what the issue is. The old "TMC" traffic doesn't get a lot of resolution into events and only updates slowly. It's OK to get you alerted to an issue, but you can't easily pinpoint the issues and the severity of things. These are typically sold as "lifetime Traffic" models.

TomTom Live Models - I recommend any TomTom Live product that has HD Traffic - this is the big boy of traffic in a GPS, with feeds over the cellular network. They are a little more expensive, but come with some great connected goodies. The TomTom GO LIVE 2535M is a good example.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 12, 2011

Traffic Might Look Bad - Beat it with Inrix (Ver 3.5.1)

Inrix recently updated its App (version 3.5.1), and they have a new version out for the holidays - with their newly updated App, you can get more road miles of coverage, and you can now get pop-up alerts that will warn you when you have issues around you or according to your personal preferences. Some were not happy with the 3.5 update for battery issues, which Inrix claims are fixed with this update.

One recent addition is that they can offer you a read on how long an incident might take to clear - giving you time for another piece of pie to let things cool off before heading out. The new features include:

  • See More Traffic for More Roads: With INRIX’s expanded traffic on arterials, travelers can see at-a-glance if it’s faster to take side streets or stay on the highway with traffic information that extends beyond highways and interstates covering more than 500K miles of arterials and city streets now available nationwide. With the ability to see more traffic on more local roads, INRIX Traffic gives travelers with door-to-door coverage that makes getting to Grandma’s house a snap.
  • Live Traffic Alerts: Up to the minute, location specific pop-up alerts similar to live sports scores and weather updates available on the iPhone today. Drivers receive live traffic alerts based on their location and personal preferences. INRIX Traffic owners can now customize alerts based on proximity and incident type to ensure traffic alerts are specific to their route. Better details on incidents including severity and time to clear help drivers make smarter decisions.


in the iTunes App Store - Inrix Traffic


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 15, 2011

Waze Traffic as Art - The Streets of Paris


If you haven't seen this and have been to Paris, you can almost see the traffic trace the routes you've probably taken to get around the city.....

Via Waze where you'll also find Rome and Tel Aviv done up in a similar way....

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 27, 2011

Inrix Users Spend One Less Day in Traffic a Year


inrixlogo.jpg
Inrix has a lot of data on roadways and traffic flow derived from in part, anonymous uploads from people who use their apps. Well a recent review of their data has shown that users who use their Apps spend about a day a year less in traffic than non-users and as a result, save a tank of gas a year. That kind of savings makes the free app well worth the effort, and even the premium app, well worth its $25 price.

It's not hard to imagine that with over a million miles of coverage in the US, Inrix can offer data to users that makes route planning a more informed process yielding savings like that. I have found that when I use it, I tend to plan my way around major interstate headaches via local roads. Because Inrix covers so many secondary roadways, you can make informed decisions, so instead of blindly running into a jam on the local roadway too, you can see if things look better or worse.
Inrix is available on the iPhone, Android and now on Blackberry and Windows Mobile. Check out their site for details - Inrix Mobile Apps
Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 19, 2011

Inrix App Upgrade - Easier to Use

InrixTrafficVer30.jpg

inrix has updated their Traffic App on both the Android and the iPhone platforms with some cool new features that will make using the App easier and better. I've been a regular user of the Inrix iPhone App since it debuted back in 2009 and have come to trust and rely upon it for accurate information about traffic conditions around me. To some extent, other Apps have leveraged their user networks more overtly and in a social way to gather information on traffic incidents and qualitative information on what life is like out on the roads. Inrix is making their sharing capabilities more overt with this release.

Easier Sharing
Inrix, with its unrivaled network of mobile GPS probes, road sensors and remote monitoring is pretty good, but if a user comes across an incident worth sharing with the greater community, they can now easily tap on the screen to pull up a set of reporting icons that allow you to quickly report an accident, the police, or even an error in the traffic flow.

Inrix is already using your positional data anonymously to learn about traffic conditions, but when you tap the "Traffic color is wrong" button, the Inrix App starts to report back more frequently for a period of time to oversample the traffic situation to get better data on the conditions.

Easier to Use Traffic Readout
inrix has also taken its keen understanding of the traffic data and let you know which spots are worse than normal and which spots are better than normal. Sometimes when you look at the traffic map it all looks pretty messy and confusing, but using this new feature, you can see the BLACK areas are worse than average speeds and the LIGHT BLUE areas are better then average speeds. Quick, easy and informative. It's free with a Pro upgrade for a few bucks. Free is definitely worth it and I happen to like the Pro version too. Start with free and then upgrade.

If you have a smartphone, you deal with traffic and don't have the Inrix App; you need it.


Inrix Traffic App at iTunes


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 26, 2011

Inrix and Audi Team up for Traffic Feed Telematics Solution

  audi_logo.jpg

Inrix has added to the stable of automakers it is serving; this one adds Audi to the Ford Sync and Toyota Entune telematics products. The Audi MMI system is their version of a smarter car, with Inrix powering the traffic solution. The Audi MMI system claims to consumer the Inrix data, account for the detailed traffic information and offers users the best route to their destination. Traffic changes mid-trip? the MMI system will of course take this into account and alter the route if a better one is available. While this seems basic, the payout is in the fact that Inrix is tracking the highways and the secondary roadways so that it knows the secondary roads aren't a better choice just because they are out of overage like other systems. Inrix is claiming 4 million traffic probes; simply a huge number up from under a million just a few years ago.

TPEG Standard

The new Inrix HD data will be flowing across a new traffic standard delivery format (aligned to by the Transport Protocol Experts Group - TPEG) allowing more data in a smaller footprint, consuming less bandwidth and pumping more detail down to the navigation system.

The Inrix powered services will be available on models starting mid-year.

Press Release follows.......

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix and Audi Team up for Traffic Feed Telematics Solution"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 4, 2011

Inrix to Power Toyota Entune On-Board Traffic System

inrixlogo.jpg

Inrix has announced that they are going to also provide traffic information to the new Toyota onboard computer system dubbed "Entune". Inrix in their usual role will be supplying unsurpassed coverage and traffic alerts to the Toyota drivers to unexpected traffic incidents.


Just today I was sitting in a shop in the center of our small suburban town, only to overhear a person come in the shop and tell a friend about an accident that just happened down the road, snarling traffic. A few minutes later as I jumped in my car (Not a toyota), I checked the Inrix Traffic! iPhone App to see that they had a bead on the tie-up, which Inrix showed ending exactly at the accident scene. This road was a tertiary state road that was not heavily traveled in the middle of the afternoon, but Inrix captured the back-up accurately and quickly.


Full Press release below on the new Inrix Partnership with Toyota.....


ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix to Power Toyota Entune On-Board Traffic System"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 30, 2010

Ford Launches Sync App - iPhone, iPad and Android

inrixlogo.jpg

Ford and Inrix have announced a new App for the iPhone and Android operating systems that allow you to interact with your Ford Sync equipped car. The move will bring better integration and better out of car usability to the celebrated car infotainment system.


The applications will allow you to send destinations to your car and preview traffic conditions before you leave for work or your appointments. Not only will you be able to upload new addresses to the cloud-based SyncMyRide account, but you will be able to see traffic maps for highways, arterials and city streets for 126 major metro areas across the US, see traffic forecasts based on Inrix's extensive experience and databases, and find the fastest routes around traffic hotspots all before stepping foot in the car.


According to Ford and Inrix, "Ford, Lincoln and Mercury owners of 2010 and 2011 SYNC-equipped, TDI-capable vehicles can download the SYNC Destinations app for free from the Apple App Store and Android Market. To activate it, the user has to enter his or her www.syncmyride.com login credentials. Once those credentials are submitted, the app confirms the user’s TDI subscription status, and is then unlocked and ready for use."


Full Press Release Below.....


ArrowContinue reading: "Ford Launches Sync App - iPhone, iPad and Android"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 3, 2010

Inrix Announces XD Traffic; Super Accurate, Super Smart

inrixlogo.jpg Inrix has announced XD traffic (not to be confused with HD traffic from TomTom), and it sounds like a big jump in capability and accuracy.

The new B2B service will be included in the new Ford Sync equipped vehicles starting in 2011, and available to App makers for inclusion in their applications.

Super Accurate

They are the first to "fuse agency, journalistic and community-based incident data to deliver more timely alerts, better routes and more accurate travel times and ETAs." The result is accurate travel speeds over 90% of the time.

Inrix_XDTraffic_Logo.jpg Super Smart

The name of the game here is getting as much data in the pipe as you can, making sense of it and then sending out usable predictive models and accurate pictures of the current status. Inrix has the data inputs, but also crunch the data from the traffic inputs as well as weather, sporting or concert events to help build a sophisticated model of what's to come. They don't stop there, and do regular testing of their routes to compare actual vs. predicted speeds and adjust the output based on this learning; this is done 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They call the artificial intelligence modeling Fully Automated Speed Testing or F.A.S.T.

More information on Inrix XD After the Jump ....



ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Announces XD Traffic; Super Accurate, Super Smart"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

September 10, 2010

NFL Games: Worst Traffic Jams DC, New England, Buffalo

TomTomlogoSM.jpg

TomTom took a look into their database crystal ball and saw that yes, there are traffic jams at NFL games, and then there are traffic disasters. The worst locations experience a 50+% slowdown in traffic as a result of the games. I can vouch for that as we live close to Gillette Stadium, and you don't want to go near the place on game day if you aren't going to the game.

"The results of this study were calculated using data from the TomTom user community. TomTom compared anonymously contributed GPS measurements and data during the home games for each stadium for the 2009 season with data from TomTom's historical speed database, Speed Profiles(TM). Speed Profiles creates the most accurate view of historical traffic on both primary and secondary roads using data over a two year period. This data is incorporated on TomTom GPS devices as IQ Routes to guide drivers away from congestion, not only on major highways but on all routes in the road network."

If you don't have a TomTom with traffic, you can always go to their Beta Route Planning Site to take advantage of the traffic data. I checked the Sunday Morning predictions around Gillette Stadium, and they must not have that plumbed up, because there doesn't appear to be any traffic predicted ahead of the NE Pat's opener. The service is in Beta, so predictions must not be hooked up. (They are even predicting a traffic free commute out of Boston this afternoon; I don't think so). Definitely worth checking ahead of the game if you are concerned.   At TomTom Route Planner

More details about the traffic jams after the jump.......

ArrowContinue reading: "NFL Games: Worst Traffic Jams DC, New England, Buffalo"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 1, 2010

Traveling Labor Day Weekend? 6 Tips to Help Avoid Traffic

If you are traveling at all this long weekend, you will probably hit some traffic. With a little work, you can either plan ahead and know what you are getting into, or see the traffic situation and plan to route around it. It's not hard, here are a couple of tips to make traveling a little easier.

1. Check out conditions at Beat the Traffic in most major metro areas. They use Inrix data for some pretty detailed accounts of roadway slowdowns. You can elect to sign up for a two week free trial for their service that will allow you to plan your regularly used routes and get updates. They also have an iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and "mobile" set of solutions to help you while you are on the road.

2. Use Traffic.com's solution to plan a route and see what the traffic conditions are before you leave. they can recommend alternates for you to consider that will make the trip faster. Type in your starting and ending addresses for turn by turn directions. At Traffic.com - It's free.

3. Download the Inrix App for iPhone or Android where you can see traffic around you while on the road. I use this in combination with a GPS to get me around the worst spots: See trouble, pan the Inrix Map to see the last exit before the congestion, use the GPS to find my way around the issue to pop back on teh highway after the back-up. (Co-pilot recommended)

4. Get a traffic Enabled iPhone Navigation App - they are not that expensive and then you add on traffic as an option. Two I like are the TomTom (iTunes Link) and Navigon. TomTom US costs $49, and has an in App Traffic subscription for $20. Navigon has a Regional option (MyRegion) for only $29 and an annual traffic subscription (in App Purchase) for $20 also. Both give you traffic in and around major metro areas. I like having an iPhone navigation app because it's with me all of the time. These Apps download the maps so they don't need connectivity for navigation but do for traffic updates.

5. Buy a traffic enabled GPS - there are a ton out there, but two that are worth checking out are the TomTom XL 335TM (widescreen, text to speech, lifetime free map updates and traffic alerts - $129 right now), and the brand new Garmin Nuvi 3790T (super slim new design, landscape or portrait views, multi-touch display with advanced features and free traffic updates). Again these traffic updates are for most major metro areas and download over the FM band, so they are a little less detailed, but cover major roadways.

UPDATE: THURSDAY ONLY - Amazon Deal of the Day: TomTom XL 335T for $119 - Lifetime Traffic updates, but not lifetime map updates.

6. Leave in the middle of the night - way less fun; I recommend one of the other options.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Join the Mailing List Mailing List
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Subscribe - RSS
Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

Archives

TechPiree

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered by
Movable Type 6.0.3
All items Copyright © 1999-2014 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy