February 17, 2009

The Future Uleashed - Smart Roads, Smarter Drivers?

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The Wall St Journal published a special Technology section today that is worth a read if you have a few minutes; most of it is available online. On the day that President Obama signed the stimulus bill providing funding to all kinds of initiatives, the WSJ took a look at what the future of technology could bring in terms of infrastructure improvements, and one of our favorite subjects; traffic and GPS.

The headline story about "Smart Roads" identified several technologies to predict and alert drivers to impending traffic jams that have yet to happen up to 45 minutes ahead of time. they mentioned IBM who is apparently working on such prediction technologies while potentially working on driverless car capabilities. The big news here is to have the vehicles and the road system in communication so that the system understands when there is an accident, and in realtime what the speed and traffic load is. If the system was smart enough to understand where you were going, it could plan out what cars will be off the road and when, further refining the traffic model. I was personally surprised that they didn't talk about Inrix and their current ability to predict traffic speeds days into the future, and their network of sensors, probe vehicles and cellular probes to model traffic.

The WSJ also highlighted Traffic.com, a service of NAVTEQ, Nokia's mapping company that allows you to set up driving routes and get traffic alerts and driving times sent right to your email or mobile phone. I have an account, and over the last year or so I have noticed that the drive times are fairly accurate (+/- 10 minutes on a traffic filled hour long commute), and give me a good sense of the driving conditions and what to expect on my commute. You can get the mobile version too: mobi.traffic.com.

Proxpro is a firm that is collecting traffic, routing, weather data and mashes that up with your appointments to figure out what the most efficient routes are to those appointments ahead of time. Think traveling rep who is on the road and needs to understand their day.

Let us know if you have a killer app, or insight into something cool-yet-to-come that has to deal with mapping, traffic or GPS.

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

Inrix: I-95 Corridor Coalition Confirms Accuracy

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Inrix announced today that they have received word on the accuracy of their technology from the I-95 consortium which has certified their technology as accurate across a wide array of conditions, time of day and location. The coalition monitored 111 miles of roadway in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia to make 19,000 observations of true speed of a vehicle in traffic at various times of the day. The study covered 1,500 hours on 54 road segments. They then compared this to the data that Inrix supplied through its sensor network, its GPS probe data and its prediction capability to find that over 85% of the time Inrix was within 5 MPH of the actual speeds. Net, the study concluded "this result confirms that the INRIX GPS data provides an accurate overall picture of traffic conditions for limited access roadways within the Corridor."

Cool geeky stuff. The whole report can be downloaded at www.i95coalition.org

Full press release follows after the jump......

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

February 6, 2009

GPS Lodge on Twitter

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Twittered lately? We've been on Twitter for a while and have enjoyed reading and writing in a different micro-blogging way. We have our feeds hooked up so you get the Tweet as soon as a post goes up. I have also been sending Tweets out on some quick bits that I find interesting; also passing along some of the other Tweets I find interesting.

I find the Garmin Blog, Wired (more general Tech stuff here), NAVTEQ, and GPS Business News particularly good.

One that I just found, courtesy of one of our readers, Jim, is a twitter feed of Rhode Island traffic issues, via RI DOT. RI is small enough to cover the whole state in one feed, giving you alerts on accidents - great if you have a mobile Twitter reader. Update: I have also found the State of Washington, and Oregon.

So check out the RI DOT for their feed if interested as well as our GPSLodge Twitter feed.

If you have a good source of GPS information; leave a comment below and share.


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

January 8, 2009

TeleNav and Inrix to power Ford Sync In-Dash Systems


Telenav is going to be powering Ford's Sync system with voice activated navigation, traffic feeds from Inrix, hands free calling and music access, audible text messages, and 911 assist. This is interesting as Ford has had a long standing relationship with Garmin for featuring GPS units with vehicles.

Inrix is bringing their "A" game to the party packing a new "alerting Service" allowing you to get personalized traffic alerts delivered to your car - pretty interesting to see how this might interface with the navigation system. I mean really - does Spock and Scottie come bundled in the Sync system too? "But Captain, there's a traffic jam ahead. Use the next exit and hit warp speed."


Telenav & Inrix Press Release Below......

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

January 7, 2009

Dual XNAV43HD - with HD Radio Traffic Receiver

Dual announced a new GPS Navigation unit that is a first of its kind - the first GPS in the US to offer Traffic by HD radio signal. This was demoed at CES two years ago and is now making its debut on US soil - excellent. "So what?" you ask? Yea, the higher bandwidth of HD can deliver a lot more information through to the unit, so you should get faster updates, and hopefully more detailed information. The old TMC channel can only handle so much, so updates are as frequent and the detail and resolution on the roads just isn't there.

THe Dual XNAV43HD is planned to be around $279 and available this spring. It ships with a 4.3-inch screen, text to speech and let's hope it delivers what is possible out there. The data of course will come from Inrix, and covers hundreds of thousands of miles of roads out there.

Good stuff; who's next with the HD capability?

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

December 2, 2008

Inrix Steps Up Their Game - Partners with Networks in Motion

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Inrix is stepping up their game and partnering with Networks in Motion the white label provider of navigation and now traffic by Inrix to millions of subscribers to mobile phone users. The service is well known as VZ Navigator from Verizon, as well as others in a long client list, including, AAA Mobile® on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint,

Networks in Motion cites traffic as the most asked for feature, and Inrix is now providing that to these users who can check the routes and traffic impacts from just about anywhere.

Inrix has hundreds of thousands of GPS probes out there giving them a read on traffic conditions on nearly a million miles of roads. One has to wonder if in providing the traffic service to NIM, Inrix might have reciprocal access to the millions of users of the service giving Inrix a more powerful service. I don't have any confirmation; just wondering.


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Full Press Release after the jump.....


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

November 20, 2008

Navigon Details the Woes of the American Driver

Navigon has done a few surveys and are letting us know that there really are a lot of people out there hurting from the impact of traffic. On average, these commuters spend 18 minutes stuck in traffic each morning, or a whopping 78 hours a year. With 85% of drivers admitting that they have gotten lost and 91% have missed an exit. Come on folks, get a GPS!

OK - so a GPS isn't going to eliminate all traffic, they can help let you know how bad it will be and let you know if you need to get around it. Just ask Navigon, they have traffic on their new models....

More data on the woes of our driving..... after the jump.

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

November 18, 2008

Inrix Pumps Up their Coverage

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Inrix is on fire, and provided the world with a little status update and a little bragging in their recent press release. Read it and you'll see that they might just have pretty good right to brag a bit. I liked the "we saved Alabama's traffic alert program" paragraph where the previous traffic provider couldn't deliver accurate data. In steps Inrix, the data is flowing, and boards are lit up 2 weeks later.

Inrix has a lot of their data coming from GPS probe data - cars and trucks in a fleet (think delivery trucks, tractor trailers, etc) that report back traffic patterns. They like this model, and combine the data with road sensor data, crunch it in a model and feed it out to traffic providers like Depts of transportation, TMC traffic services on your GPS, and websites that offer traffic. Read the press release; they are laying the case out against using cell phone sniffing technologies that they have not fully adopted due to accuracy concerns. Interesting stuff if you are a traffic geek (like me).

Full Press Release follows after the jump......

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

November 11, 2008

Nokia/NAVTEQ working Traffic with UC Berkley - Mobile Millennium Project

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Nokia/NAVTEQ are working with UC Berkley on the Mobile Millennium project, a project to create a system to collect traffic flow patterns from mobile phones, and create real-time traffic condition reporting. The project will span 18 months and utilize the power of the partnership between government, academia, and industry.

This is not unlike a few companies out there that already capture traffic data from cell phones - passively, and utilize algorithms to measure the speeds of traffic on highways and surface roads.
"The Mobile Millennium project includes a six month pilot deployment of GPS technology, where thousands of GPS mobile phones will be placed in vehicle within a focus area. Participating users agree to place these cell phones in their vehicles in order to transmit positioning data. The phones receive live traffic information from a map application."

Good stuff - the more the merrier on this one. Let's figure it out and nail the applications so my life gets better with less traffic.

More at Mobile Millennium

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

November 10, 2008

Inrix Traffic on the TeleNav Shotgun Connected GPS

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The newest connected GPS device out there, the TeleNav Shotgun, will be using Inrix traffic feeds which cover a lot of roads and with the sophistication of their systems, we expect a solid updating of timely data.

"We selected INRIX as the traffic information provider for TeleNav Shotgun to help deliver the highest quality navigation experience to our customers," said HP Jin, TeleNav's president, CEO and co-founder. "Real-time traffic continues to be one of the most popular requests from our navigation subscribers."

Full Press Release below....

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Traffic on the TeleNav Shotgun Connected GPS"

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

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