July 28, 2010

Inrix Expands European Real-time Traffic Coverage


Inrix announced an expansion of their European coverage to more markets. They appear poised to replicate their US capabilities in superior coverage and quality of service. Press release is below.....

INRIX® today announced it has expanded its European real-time traffic coverage to 18 countries making it the largest traffic network in Europe.

With the launch of real-time traffic information in Ireland, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia since February, INRIX traffic services now cover more than 1 million kilometers of motorways, city streets and secondary roads, throughout Europe -- more than 2X the amount of real-time road coverage of its nearest competitor.

INRIX now offers European real-time traffic information in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

INRIX also announced an agreement with road safety products and services company Coyote Systems to provide real-time traffic information in future Coyote products. As Coyote's preferred global provider of traffic information, INRIX and Coyote will work together to apply each other's expertise in user-generated content for the development of future products and services across Europe.

Building upon its expansion in Europe, INRIX has hired Rolf Kanne, the former head of sales for NAVTEQ's T-Systems Traffic, and Guillaume Taton, an experienced mobile and navigation industry professional. As these two industries converge, Rolf and Guillaume offer European customers a unique perspective having worked in mobile and automotive companies throughout the course of their careers.

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

May 17, 2010

Inrix Releases Update to Traffic! for iPhone - Crowdsourced Incidents


Inrix has a vast network of sensors, commercial fleet GPS "probes" and crowdsourced GPS "probes" covering thousands of miles of roadways in what I think it the best coverage and quality of coverage out there. They recently updated their iPhone App to include crowsourced incident reporting - want to report Live Police (Speed Trap too), Fixed Camera Trap, Accident, Construction, or an Event/Gathering you can now and send it in. Want some street cred? They also report on top ten contributors on another tab. You might be wondering about "Events" and "Gatherings". Let's face it, big events like major sports games and other large gatherings impact traffic. Inrix already pulls in many major events as a factor for predicting traffic, but they are looking to bolster that dataset too with you reporting it.

So, update the App to version 2.4 and get a new way to report on things you don't already see reported.

Inrix Traffic! in the App Store (iTunes Link)

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

April 22, 2010

Traffic Jams Drive the Most Polluting Roads in America

TomTom and their TeleAtlas group just released a study that tied traffic jams to air pollution, to reveal the top polluting roadways in America. Sorry California, you're taking most of the top spots. The very obvious reality is that when you sit in traffic, you waste gas in the start and stop mode of inching down the highway. TomTom has a feedback mechanism in many of its GPS devices that allow it to gather anonymous data from your trips that reveal roads traveled and average speeds across those road segments. With a pile of data across millions of GPS devices they can create the historical profile of speeds on the road. Slow speed equates to more emissions.

So the study didn't appear to take into account any effect of a greener automobile fleet (there has to be more hybrids per capita in California), but I can't imagine that it can overcome the overwhelming mass of humanity that travel the highways in California.

It's Earth Day; how can you help?

  • The obvious thing is to either get a more efficient car, or skip the car ride; take the train, work from home a day a week, carpool, or ride a bike.

  • Avoid the traffic with a traffic enabled GPS. You could always time shift your commute, but that will only get you so far. Sometimes a traffic enabled GPS can alert you to the worst jams and offer a way around. I recommend a connected device that relies on anything but FM/RDS signals. You need secondary road coverage that the higher bandwidth offers in connected devices (mobile phone, "connected" GPS).

  • Use a regular GPS - studies have shown that using a GPS devices can save you time and money on the road by keeping you from getting lost. It's really pretty simple, but across millions of cars, it can make a difference.

The full information from TomTom is below after the jump and they list off the roadways and the methodology. Pretty interesting. Assuming that they mean I-93 south of Boston, I am not reassured that my commute is on their list. I think I am going to take the commuter rail today..... Update: Found out that the stretch in Mass is north of town Randolph to Reading. Good for me; the train is was great.

ArrowContinue reading: "Traffic Jams Drive the Most Polluting Roads in America"

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

April 9, 2010

HD Radio Based Traffic - Clear Channel Total Traffic Network Plus

Clear Channel is getting ready to launch an upgraded traffic solution dubbed Total Traffic Network Plus for 63 metro areas that will be delivered through HD radio tuners in mobile devices like a GPS/PND. They have been working on a solution like this for a while; as they tested it back in 2007.

The problem with the existing RDS system is that it is delivered over the FM airwaves and is restricted in its bandwidth, tus limiting the granularity of the traffic data, the descriptions of the incidents and generally lacks the coverage that is available today through higher bandwidth solutions (think smart phones here - Inrix Traffic App, TomTom with optional Traffic and Navigon with optional Traffic come to mind).

The Total Traffic Network Plus feed will also come through with additional information available like weather, sports scores, and news headlines. With this type of information, the solutions starts to look credible in the face of the mobile phone systems that offer a very wide variety of information too.

The first unit will reportedly be JVC's $1200 KW-NT3HDT (below) double din navigation, wallet bustin' solution. It ships near the end of April.



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

February 24, 2010

Inrix Traffic Scorecard: Congestion up; Economy and Construction Effects

Inrix has released its annual study on the traffic congestion in America taking a fresh look at what's happening overall and where the worst congestion spots are across the country. The good news is that it appears that the economy is on the mend as traffic bottomed out in March/April of last year, the bad news is that congestion is up overall, especially in the non-rush hours where there was a 25% increase in congestion. The stimulus package and its associated construction efforts are changing patterns; worse congestion where construction projects have kicked off and relieved congestion where they have finished.

Overall, for those who commute, you probably already know that the best day to commute is Monday, and the worst on Thursday with people taking long weekends to relieve a little stress. The trouble is that the worst morning commute is Wednesday, while the worst evening commute is Friday - not too many people are staying late on Friday.

No surprise that Los Angeles tops the list for worst traffic; here's the top 10:

1. Los Angeles, Calif.
2. New York, N.Y.
3. Chicago, Ill.
4. Washington, D.C. (up from 6th in 2008)
5. Dallas, Texas
6. Houston, Texas (down from 4th in 2008)
7. San Francisco, Calif.
8. Boston, Mass.
9. Seattle, Wash.
10. Philadelphia, Pa. (up from 11th in 2008)

Inrix grabs their traffic from about 1.6 million GPS probes out on the roads that take the form of road sensors, GPS probes in fleet vehicles and more frequently users of applications like their Inrix Traffic! App on the iphone where the travel progress along the road is anonymously sent back for reporting on in-the-moment traffic conditions. If you want pure traffic reporting on the web, you can see their data on Mapquest, or on your iPhone with their Inrix Traffic! App (iTunes Link). They also power the traffic functions on most of the iPhone Apps, including Navigon (iTunes Link).

More data and details after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Traffic Scorecard: Congestion up; Economy and Construction Effects"

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

February 15, 2010

NAVTEQ Traffic in UK

NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data for in-vehicle, portable, wireless and enterprise solutions, announced the launch of NAVTEQ Traffic™ in the United Kingdom, increasing its real-time traffic European coverage to nearly 400,000 kilometers of total coverage, across nearly 35 major cities in 13 European countries.

NAVTEQ Traffic in the United Kingdom includes data from Trafficmaster's network of 7,500 traffic sensors, covering 8,000 miles of U.K. motorways and 95 percent of its trunk or arterial roads. NAVTEQ is compiling road sensors and GPS vehicle probes, both consumer and commercial; later this year they expect to add mobile phone tracking for GPS Probe sources.

NAVTEQ Traffic enables a single-source, uninterrupted traffic service when crossing borders in Europe and is also available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Full Press Release is Below......

ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ Traffic in UK"

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

February 12, 2010

Inrix Traffic - Best in Show for MacWorld

MacworldBestinShow.jpgAt the recent MacWorld Expo, Inrix was named to a list of the best in show for their Inrix Traffic Pro iPhone App. If you've missed it, they are the #1 Navigation based App in iTunes.

The basic (free) program gives you insight into traffic flow around major metro areas with coverage not only on major highways but right down to the street level for many important commuting roadways. I have been really impressed with their coverage around Boston.

The "Pro" version - which is an in App upgrade ($10 a year of $25 lifetime), offers a few extra tools for those who want to check out some more details on their trips - like viewing traffic cameras, saving commuting routes, and a pretty cool feature that looks ahead and predicts when the best time to leave for your commute is.

The latest version (ver 2.3) offers fixes that dogged the last version. I saw the bugs last month, I don't see them anymore in this version.

See more at Inrix Traffic (iTunes Link) or learn more at the Inrix Website

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

January 7, 2010

TomTom Lifetime Traffic Service Announced - Future Models


TomTom announced that they plan to offer Lifetime Traffic updates in 2010 on their devices through a traffic receiver that is designed into the cord; nice to have it a part of the cord instead of a separate set of cables.

"Traffic is one of the most common inconveniences every driver experiences," said Jocelyn Vigreux, president of TomTom Inc. "Now, using Lifetime Traffic Updates, TomTom users can always travel confidently knowing they will be alerted to the most current traffic information."

"Users will receive traffic updates through a traffic receiver that is innovatively designed into the device's power cord. By simply connecting the TomTom device to the power cord, users will be automatically alerted to traffic situations en route, such as traffic jams or accident delays."

I would expect a new set of units to be announced as a part of CeBit in March, and this traffic feature will most likely an optional add-on for "T" models with Traffic; no I certainly don't expect this premium service to be free.

ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Lifetime Traffic Service Announced - Future Models"

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Inrix Improves Accuracy and Traffic Flow Coverage to over 260,000 miles


Inrix upped their game again as they continue to power the new Ford Sync platform with their improved traffic flow coverage and accuracy. The big news here is that the coverage now accurately hits secondary roads with flow data, giving you the coverage you need on alternate routes when the highways are clogged.

"While other companies treat arterials and city streets just like stretches of uninterrupted highway, we factor in the impact traffic lights, stop signs, curb cuts and other traffic control tools have on traffic speeds to provide a significantly more accurate snapshot of real-time traffic conditions and congestion on these roads," said Senior Director of Product Management Ken Kranseler.

The cool techno-nerdy news here is that they continue to expand their capabilities through realtime reporting via GPS probes; sure they have trucks and fleet vehicles that got it all started, but increasingly the use of their iPhone Based Inrix Traffic App turns your phone into an anonymous probe for the greater good of reporting more accurate road conditions. they are claiming over 1.5million GPS enabled vehicles and devices as their feed into their Smart Driver Network, which is up dramatically from the 625,000 Vehicles that they were claiming just a short 2+ years ago.

Full Press Release Follows.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Improves Accuracy and Traffic Flow Coverage to over 260,000 miles"

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

Inrix Traffic on Ford Sync Systems

Inrix announced that they are powering the connected traffic systems on the new Ford Sync platform with an improved system of roadways and realtime traffic capabilities. Reported separately, the improvement adds over 100,000 miles of flow data to the available roadways; giving Inrix and Ford a powerhouse of over 260,000 miles of flow data - not just incident data. So that means that they can paint the roadways Red, Yellow, Green to indicate how fast the roadway is flowing. The higher degree of accuracy, and the broader coverage means that users of the Ford system will not only know how things are doing on the highways but also on more and more secondary roadways; yea, the ones you want to use when the highways are clogged.

The navigation system is being powered by TeleNav.

Full Press Release below....

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Traffic on Ford Sync Systems"

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

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