October 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM
Inrix launches upgraded traffic service, announces VW deal
Kirkland-based traffic data provider Inrix today launched a new version of its service with more precision and flexibility to run on multiple digital maps.
The upgrades could help the 325-person company accelerate enterprise sales as it steers toward a potential public stock offering next year.
The new service, called Inrix XD, is available to consumers through the Inrix app on iOS and Android devices. It now provides data on 1.9 million miles of road globally and is expected to cover more than 4 million miles in 37 countries by the end of the year.
New capabilities are largely aimed at enterprise customers, including municipalities providing real-time traffic information to drivers and carmakers bundling traffic data with their in-dash navigation systems.
By turning its service into middleware that runs on different map platforms, Inrix may be able to better compete with rivals such as Nokia and Google that provide traffic data bound to their digital maps. The middleware approach – plus the promise of improved accuracy – may appeal to commercial customers that are mixing and matching map and navigation services.
BMW, for instance, uses Nokia maps in some applications and TomTom maps in others.
“They need solutions that can work across all of those in a much easier way than what they have to go through today,” said Scott Sedlik, vice president of product and market development.
Inrix simultaneously announced several big customer wins. The Ohio Department of Transportation is now using Inrix to provide traffic information for its operations and traveler services, and the San Francisco area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission is using Inrix in its 511 traffic information services.
The company also announced its first deal with Volkswagen, which is using Inrix in its “Car-Net” navigation system starting with the 2013 GTI and GTD models. BMW is also expanding its use of Inrix to 12 additional European countries, in addition to France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and U.S. markets.
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