Inrix doubles street coverage with XD Traffic

Inrix's new service, XD Traffic, not only increases the amount of roads covered, but also gives users a higher resolution of traffic data, with increments down to 800 feet.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive 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.
Wayne Cunningham
Inrix XD Traffic coverage

The Inrix XD Traffic service, launched this week, puts the company's digital traffic reporting on twice as many roads as previously. Inrix provides traffic data for in-vehicle navigation systems and through its own smartphone app.

Inrix Director of Product Management Mark Pendergrast told CNET that, along with the increased coverage, XD Traffic increases what it calls resolution of traffic coverage down to 800-foot increments. Previously, Inrix and other companies have used mile-long blocks, reporting the same traffic flow conditions for an entire stretch of road. The new 800-foot resolution makes it more likely the actual traffic conditions will match those shown on a driver's navigation system.

The increased coverage adds more surface streets to Inrix's reporting structure.

Along with the added streets and higher resolution, XD Traffic data is collected independent of existing maps, allowing vendors to overlay the data on a variety of different navigation systems. Pendergrast told CNET that map independence could allow XD Traffic to show traffic flow information on new roads that have not yet been entered into a navigation system's map database.

A comparison of Inrix's XD Traffic and rival Nokia's Here mapping service shows similar traffic coverage for surface streets in downtown San Francisco. The similarity in coverage suggests that the new Inrix service was intended to keep it competitive with Nokia's offering.

Inrix supplies traffic information for BMW's navigation system, and Volkswagen will be incorporating it in its Car-Net navigation system. XD Traffic is currently available through the Inrix smartphone app.