Get traffic info from the future

At CTIA, Inrix announced its new traffic service, downloadable to Windows Mobile devices, which can even tell you what the traffic will be like in the future.

Inrix shows traffic info on any Windows Mobile device.
Inrix shows traffic info on any Windows Mobile device. Inrix

At CTIA, Inrix announced its new traffic service, downloadable to Windows Mobile devices, which can even tell you what the traffic will be like in the future. We, having recently been stuck in a traffic jam and unable to find any information about it on the radio, will be quite happy with the service's reporting on current conditions. The app, called Inrix Traffic, shows real-time traffic flow and traffic incidents, such as accidents or construction, so you can get a good idea why you're going 5mph in a 65mph zone.

But Inrix has developed a substantial database of historical traffic conditions, and uses that to predict what traffic will be like in the future. So, for example, you can plan a trip to the airport for next week, and take traffic into consideration for what time you'll need to leave. More importantly, Inrix developed its traffic data by partnering with companies putting GPS-enabled fleets on the roads, so it has traffic data for areas that have no local traffic monitoring. For areas with good traffic monitoring, such as the San Francisco bay area, Inrix covers roads that aren't monitored by the local authorities. It should be noted that Inrix Traffic isn't a navigation device--you need to know what road you are on, so you can look at the app and see what traffic is like on that road.

Inrix is offering the application, which comes in at less than a megabyte, for download at Handango. But getting your local maps will require additional downloads. The service itself runs a very reasonable $39.95 a year. Inrix has already proven its pedigree somewhat by getting picked up, with its partner Clear Channel, as the traffic provider for BMW and Mini navigation systems.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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