Inrix has been an interesting innovator on the bleeding edge of traffic reporting in the US. They have just announced a major initiative that incorporates information from GPS enabled fleets that radio back traffic conditions to the mother ship which then turns that information into real time traffic reports and ultimately predictions for the rest of us. If you didn't think that getting fancy math to predict traffic conditions was cool enough, how about incorporating information from a half a million vehicles in a commercial fleet to feed you traffic data. Wow. GPS already does directions but the future is traffic incorporation and optimized route navigation based on traffic flow. Right now the future of traffic looks like Inrix.
According to one article online, " Inrix's service will be available soon on web portals like MSN Auto, Cingular cell phones and in-car GPS systems like TomTom." Inrix has a deal with TeleAtlas, which supplies data to TomTom, Cobra and Mio, but not Garmin or Magellan. Uh-oh. Actually, Garmin and Magellan work with NAVTEQ who works with Traffic.com to get traffic feeds based on sensor data. This sensor data is geographically limited, and thus, the Inrix Dust Network has the potential to jump over this sensor based data feed capability.
Press release follows:
The Inrix Dust Network, the first nationwide traffic service to go beyond the limitations of road sensors and provide accurate real-time and predictive traffic speed and flow information for major freeways, highways, arterials and side streets in every major metropolitan area in the U.S.
The Inrix Dust Network represents a traffic technology breakthrough that dramatically improves the accuracy, quality and coverage of traffic information and provides businesses, government agencies and consumers with the information they need to avoid gridlock, and save time and money. It works by combining anonymous, real-time GPS probe data from more than 500,000 commercial fleet, delivery and taxi vehicles across the U.S. with other real-time traffic flow information and hundreds of market-specific criteria that affect traffic – such as construction and road closures, real-time incidents, sporting events, weather forecasts and school schedules, greatly expanding traffic coverage and improving accuracy well beyond any other traffic service on the market today.
Inrix is the first company to successfully transform a large volume of anonymous real-time GPS vehicle probe data into nationwide traffic information. Only Inrix's proprietary Traffic Fusion Engine incorporates the power of advanced Bayesian analytics to combine GPS probe data with hundreds of other market-specific data sources enabling the most accurate real-time and predictive traffic information and broadest coverage available.
"Until now, the biggest obstacle to delivering useful and relevant traffic flow information to the market has been the extremely limited coverage of road sensor networks," said Inrix President and CEO Bryan Mistele. "The Inrix Dust Network overcomes these challenges with a revolutionary new approach, making expensive, environmentally obtrusive and often unreliable road sensor networks obsolete."
Inrix currently provides businesses and regional departments of transportation (DOTs) agencies with real-time traffic incident information for 138 metropolitan markets and with this announcement now provides real-time traffic speed and flow information for more than 30 markets across the country, making Inrix the clear leader in traffic flow coverage. Inrix will continue rolling out its Dust Network in the U.S. and will provide real-time flow information for more than 50 markets by the end of the year. This represents more than 35,000 miles of coverage on freeways, highways, arterials and side streets - more than seven times the coverage of existing road sensor networks.
While some traffic solutions only offer highway-level coverage and are dependent upon extremely expensive and often unreliable road sensor networks for information, the Inrix Dust Network provides high-quality real-time and predictive traffic information in markets where accurate traffic data was not previously available such as Miami, Las Vegas, New York, Tampa, San Antonio and Providence. Extensive recent ground-truth testing of the Inrix Dust Network has shown an 8–15% accuracy advantage over traditional embedded road sensor systems.