Microsoft, which helped develop the technology behind traffic data provider Inrix and then spun it out, has now adopted the company’s services to provide traffic data and predictions across a range of Microsoft online and mobile properties including Virtual Earth and Live Local. Live Local had been using data from Traffic.com (Navteq), and it’s not clear whether Inrix will totally supplant or merely augment that information.
According to Inrix’s press materials, the company gathers traffic data — and also predicts traffic flows and bottlenecks — from a wide range of sources:
The INRIX Smart 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 blending anonymous, real time GPS probe data from more than 650,000 commercial vehicles across the U.S., road sensor information and other real time traffic flow information with hundreds of market-specific criteria that affect traffic – such as construction and road closures, real time incidents, sporting and entertainment events, weather forecasts and school schedules.
Currently Inrix provides traffic data across the U.S. and U.K. and works with a range of partners that supply the information to consumers and end users, including Dash, Tom Tom, Clear Channel Radio, deCarta and Tele Atlas, among others.
Both Google and Yahoo (which has had it the longest of the majors) offer real-time traffic data on maps and mobile devices as well. Google Maps also predicts drive times during heavy traffic. There are numerous other sources for real-time traffic information, some of which are covered by Gary Price at ResourceShelf.
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