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Inrix finds traffic detours in Fords and on the iPhone

Inrix shows off a new traffic app for the iPhone and announces a partnership with Ford.

Inrix Traffic app
The new Inrix Traffic Pro app records your routes, so it can tell you how long it will take to drive with current traffic conditions. Inrix

LAS VEGAS--It may not be a household name, but Inrix offers services that will save you time and money while reducing pollution. Inrix provides traffic information and smart routing to more than 100 companies offering navigation services. At CES 2010, Inrix announced a partnership with Ford in the new MyFord Touch system, more extensive road coverage, and the Inrix Traffic Pro app for the iPhone.

MyFord traffic

Ford made a lot of news with its MyFord Touch interface, which features a new Telenav navigation system. Ford is replacing traffic data from Sirius in its navigation systems with Inrix's data, and will include algorithms to help you decide whether it's worth taking a detour around a traffic jam.

Inrix also developed a MapQuest application for Ford, which lets Ford owners look up a location using MapQuest on a home PC, then send it to their cars at the push of a button.

Expanded coverage

Ford might have chosen Inrix for its traffic because its coverage is extending to 260,000 miles of roadway. Most traffic systems--Inrix, too--cover highways and freeways in urban areas. Inrix is switching on coverage for many major surface streets by March of this year.

The company feels it can provide accurate traffic flow data for surface streets because of its network of onroad vehicles sending back speed information. Inrix uses major delivery fleets to gather information, and will be adding information from Ford cars as its service gets deployed in those new models. Further, the company has an iPhone app that not only shows drivers their local traffic, but sends data back to Inrix so the company can get a real-time look at traffic flow on a variety of streets.

Inrix Traffic Pro

We got a look at Inrix's new iPhone traffic app, called Traffic Pro, which offers more features than the basic app. Along with its traffic map, this new app records driving routes, letting you know how long it will take to drive them with current traffic conditions. A valuable tool for commuters, the app uses its forecasting ability to show a bar graph indicating how long it will take to drive a route depending on what time you leave. It can also look at multiple routes to the same destination, indicating the shortest drive time.

Unlike Inrix's free traffic app, Traffic Pro costs $9.99 per year, or $24.99 for a lifetime subscription. The initial release will be for the iPhone, with Android and BlackBerry releases coming later.