May 29, 2007

Free Inrix Traffic Data on your Mobile Phone

We’ve talked a lot about traffic feeds here at GPSLodge.com and I am looking forward to the future developments in traffic reporting to help make my life better by keeping me out of traffic jams and wasting time. Well, if you don’t have a traffic capable GPS in your possession you may still get high quality traffic feeds on your mobile phone.

Jim, one of our readers here at GPSLodge.com, pointed out the fact that Weather.com mobile has extensive traffic coverage that has Inrix written all over it. Weather.com is running a traffic service module by TCS, and one of their offerings is TeleAtlas traffic feeds.

In a spot check of a few cities, you can get some very good coverage (Boston is GREAT), and having it bookmarked on your browser-enabled mobile phone allows you quick access to current conditions. It’s not going to route you around traffic, but it will sure give you an idea of what’s up in your area.

To be clear, the regular internet site for Weather.com is running Traffic.com data, which has its own advantages, but for me in Boston, the broader coverage is essential.

So, Hit this link to Weather.com mobile and then enter in your own city to see what the coverage is and see if it can help you out.


Thanks for the tip Jim!

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

May 15, 2007

TeleAtlas bundles Historical Average Speeds

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Today TeleAtlas set the stage for a step change in GPS capability. Today TeleAtlas announced that they are bundling historical average speeds in with their maps as one package that can speed implementation of this next generation capability. Back in February I wrote about the 3 technologies required for the coming changes in traffic reporting, and the TeleAtlas announcement today is a major step in delivering on truly intelligent traffic reporting.

I confirmed with TeleAtlas that the historical average speed data is indeed data from Inrix, a company we've been following for about a year now. The clues were in the press release details about the capability: historical average speeds derived from a commercial fleet covering over 500,000 miles. (See more on Inrix and the Dust Network.) So, this basic historical average speeds data combined with TMC Traffic feeds, will give you a better solution than is available now because right now, your GPS most likely assumes that you can travel at the speed limit on highways when computing your travel time through traffic (MSN Direct on the Nuvi 680 and SOME TMC markets don't make this mistake right now), but with historical average speed data, your GPS will know and will be able to predict travel times in the future for much more intelligent travel planning.

I previously reported also that I expect GPS units with historical average speed data by the end of the year this year, and with this announcement, I think that it marks a big step towards that goal. I expect (hope for) new GPS units with Historical Average Speeds in time for Black Friday and the big holiday shopping season.

Press Release Follows...

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

Delphi NAV200 Traffic Kit Now Available

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Delphi Nav 200 Owners can rejoice, as Delphi has started offering their Lifetime Traffic service. The TMC-based traffic service has a different offering versus the rest of the GPS world, as they offer a one-time fee instead of the pay as you go monthly fee. The price is $200 for the traffic kit and the lifetime subscription. At their site they have a list of cities that are covered.

Included in the kit are:

  • Lifetime Service
  • Antenna
  • Lifetime Traffic Kit with RDS Receiver
  • SD Card with Software Upgrade
  • User Manual for Real Time Traffic

    More at Delphi

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • April 30, 2007

    TMC Traffic Feed Hacked - Bad Data on your GPS?

    Have you been getting erroneous messages on your TMC Traffic equipped GPS? Well, you might in the future. Two security experts in Europe figured out how to hack into the TMC system and transmit signals that can create fake incident reports on your GPS unit. The TMC system works over the FM band, and transmits incident codes that then pop up on the GPS as "Accident", "Construction", or apparently Terrorist Incident... It doesn't sound like an attractive project to go and implement this in the US, as there aren't so many people who use the TMC features in the US, but I would imagine we'll see something in the future about this in Europe, as many more cars are equipped with TMC capability.

    at Computerworld via Gizmodo

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

    March 27, 2007

    Inrix Predictive Traffic for your Win PDA

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    INRIX announced the availability of INRIX Traffic for Windows Mobile devices. Wireless users can now gain instant access to real-time and predictive traffic conditions on their Windows Mobile devices in more than 60 U.S. metropolitan markets, with additional markets becoming available in the coming months. The application is available at handango.com with a free trial period. This is a big step as it will put predictive traffic capability in the hands of a lot of users who don't have a traffic enabled GPS (yet) at a reasonable cost.

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

    March 7, 2007

    Inrix Accuracy and Coverage Benchmarking


    So Inrix has a news item out that has them claiming superior coverage and “highly accurate” traffic speed rates, that are comparable to Traffic.com. Incidentally NAVTEQ officially closed their acquisition today of Traffic.com. Traffic.com claims a higher degree of accuracy in the world, and Inrix has been working hard to prove that their data is equally high quality. It may seem meaningless to you, but they are vying for a role in what I expect will be a lucrative traffic flow and prediction business as GPS units are broadly adopted and as mobile phones become more and more integrated with navigation.

    Press Release Follows….

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

    NAVTEQ Closes Acquisition of Traffic.com

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    NAVTEQ today completed its previously announced acquisition of Traffic.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRFC), a leading provider of personalized traffic information for drivers coast-to-coast.

    In accordance with the terms of the acquisition, as announced on November 6, 2006, NAVTEQ acquired all the outstanding shares of common stock of Traffic.com. The total consideration to be paid in the transaction is approximately $177 million, subject to pending elections by stockholders and certain option holders of Traffic.com.

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

    March 1, 2007

    Google Maps with Traffic Feeds

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    Google Maps started implementing live traffic feeds into their major metro areas; just click the traffic button. The traffic flow indications show up as the familiar red/yellow/green shadings onto popular commuting roadways. So while Yahoo has implemented traffic feeds on its mapping service, they don't have feed data totally rolled out for many major metro cities, as Boston and some others I spot checked only had incident data.


    googleMapsTraffic.jpg


    Bottom line - traffic data is more fully embedding itself into familiar consumer based applications, and expect this to drive the recognition of the benefits. Let's hope that these services also bring historical average speeds and then speed based routing to the masses, so that even in the worst traffic, travel times can be accurate and maybe help you get around the traffic instead of through it.

    At Google Maps

    Thanks to Jim for sending this in.

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

    February 23, 2007

    Traffic.com Expands Coverage in Ohio

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    Traffic.com announced an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) that provides for the installation of digital roadside traffic sensors along expressways in the Cincinnati and Columbus metropolitan areas. (I used to live in cincinnati, and they need coverage in the areas cited below as a lot of development has pushed the traffic issues well north of the beltway.)

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

    February 22, 2007

    TMC Traffic vs. MSN Direct on your GPS

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    After publishing my review on the Garmin Nuvi 680, a few people have written in about the topic of traffic suppliers and traffic alerts. It happens to be a favorite topic of mine because I hate sitting in traffic and I can see where this is all going and I am pretty excited about the possibilities. First let's take a look at the two major traffic systems that are available today.


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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

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