The first major CES 2011 announcement for a Seattle-area company is from Inrix, the Kirkland provider of traffic and vehicle information services.
Today, Inrix announced that it’s going to provide real-time traffic information to “Entune,” Toyota’s response to the successful Ford Sync in-dash multimedia system. Entune, which is appearing in some Toyotas later this year, connects to online services via driver’s mobile phones.
Inrix characterized the deal as the first of a series of collaborations with Toyota. The company is also working with Ford on its Sync product and mobile applications.
Inrix is “staffing up heavily” with about 15 open positions to support the Toyota work and a contract with an additional automaker that will be announced later this month, spokesman Jim Bak said via e-mail. That’s on top of 20 employees added over the last year, which has brought the company to 70.
Here’s a screenshot of Toyota’s Entune menu. It has another local company’s product prominently displayed – Bing Maps and Bing Mobile technology are part of Toyota’s announcement today. I wonder if that will get mentioned Wednesday night during the opening keynote by Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.