Three Takeaways from INRIX’s 6th Annual Traffic Scorecard

by inrixtraffic24. April 2013 00:00

Today, we released the sixth annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard. Utilizing trillions of data points gathered from crowd-sourced traffic information, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard is the world’s most in-depth, data-driven look at traffic congestion.

If you’re a data geek, you can head on over to the Traffic Scorecard right now and browse to your heart’s content. However, if you’re too busy to wade through mountains of data and would prefer the Cliff’s Notes version, here are 3 key takeaways from this year’s Traffic Scorecard:

U.S. traffic congestion is up – and that’s a good thing

After two years of double-digit declines in traffic congestion in the U.S., the first three months of 2013 have seen an uptick of 4 percent compared to the previous year. This is bad news for drivers, but good news about the direction of the economy. Over the past six years, we’ve seen steep declines in traffic congestion due to the global economic crisis and its effect on unemployment. To put it simply, fewer people working means fewer people commuting to work or going out to spend money, and fewer businesses shipping products.

So far this year, 61 of America’s Top 100 Most Populated cities have seen increased traffic congestion, compared to just six in 2012. Leading the pack is Boston, with a 31 percent bump in congestion, likely the result of a local unemployment rate that’s 1.2 percent lower than the national average.

European traffic congestion is down – and that’s a bad thing

While signs are hopeful for the U.S. economy, it’s a different story across the pond. Europe is continuing to struggle through its debt crisis, and after an 18 percent decline across the continent in 2012, traffic congestion dropped another 23 percent in the first quarter of 2013, including 68 percent in Portugal (16.3 percent unemployment) and 57 percent in Spain (26.6 percent unemployment).

The lone bright spot this year (though drivers may disagree) has been Luxembourg, with a 38 percent jump in congestion, corresponding to a 5.1 percent unemployment rate and the highest GDP per capita in Europe.

Time’s a wastin

After falling to #2 in 2011, Los Angeles once again tops of our list of Worst Cities for Traffic in America. Drivers in Los Angeles are wasting about 59 hours every year in traffic. For the top 10 cities, drivers wasted 42 hours on average – more than a week’s worth of vacation. And on the Top 10 Worst Roads for Traffic, drivers wasted an average of 62 hours. Unfortunately for commuters from New York and L.A., nine of these roads can be found in their backyard.

Finally, if you’re hoping to beat the rush, the worst times to be on the roads are weekday mornings between 7-8 a.m., and weekday evenings between 4 and 5 p.m. The very busiest hours? For mornings, Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and for evenings, Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Of course, the best way to find out the latest conditions and avoid congestion is the INRIX Traffic App, available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Check it out today!

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Customize Your Commute with the Latest Version of INRIX Traffic!

by inrixtraffic16. April 2013 00:00

Good news for Android and iOS users – we’ve enabled one of your top requests! Now with INRIX Traffic, you can input the exact routes you like to drive, providing more options around gridlock and to your destination of choice. See arrival times and road alerts based on your specific, custom route.

The INRIX Traffic app provides up-to-the-minute traffic information and alerts for major roadways, saving you time and money otherwise wasted in traffic.

Here’s what’s new with the INRIX Traffic App:

  • Custom Routes: In addition to INRIX travel times for common routes to your saved destinations, we’re giving you the ability to create custom routes to your saved places.   Now you’ll be able to save your secret route home or to any destination and instantly compare it with typical routes to see which is faster around the day’s traffic.
  • Keep Moving Integration (U.K. only): Get automated traffic incident alerts on your phone with the latest information on why you’re stuck in traffic

Create personalized routes with just a few clicks of a button! It’s as simple as selecting edit under your ‘Places’ screen and adding a custom route to any one of your saved locations. Give your preferred route a name and add new waypoints. Bam! See arrival times and road alerts for your new route in map view, marked with a yellow dot.

Download the latest version of the app and let us know what you think of it by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.  For an overview of the app, check out this video.

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Android | Blog | iOS | Traffic

Traffic Jumps as U.S. Economy Shifts into Higher Gear

by inrixtraffic29. March 2013 00:00

Traffic is back, and in a big way.

The latest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) shows drivers have been spending a lot more time sitting bumper-to-bumper. Traffic jumped by almost 10 percent during February, for the largest year-over-year increase ever recorded by our 100-metro area index.

It looks like gridlock levels are finally climbing out of their long slump. While more people hitting the road might be awful for drivers, it’s also a sign that more jobs and more orders are being filled – great news for the economy.

The latest IGI shows that traffic in large metro areas like Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Houston also jumped dramatically. How did your city compare? Check out the complete list of IGI results here.

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INRIX Drive Time™ Takes the Guesswork Out of Purchasing a New Home

by inrixtraffic12. March 2013 00:00

Here at INRIX we’re always looking for new ways to apply our traffic data to help solve real problems for people around the world. Today, we’re introducing a new application of our data designed to take the uncertainty out of one of the most important factors in buying a new home – how long it will take to drive to and from work.

It just makes sense. When considering a new home, you don’t guess at the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, year built or school district, so why should your commute be any different?

In order to address what over 70 percent of home buyers surveyed by the National Association of REALTORS® cite as a key buying criterion, we’re teaming up with Windermere Real Estate to introduce INRIX Drive Time™ — a new home-buying feature on Windermere.com that helps people know how long a commute they can expect between work and any home for sale on the site.

INRIX Drive Time

INRIX Drive Time goes beyond other real estate sites that simply provide distance to work in miles or travel times based on traveling the speed limit, to provide Windermere Real Estate customers with drive times based on real-time traffic information.

An added benefit of the service is it provides benefits to both prospective home buyers and their agents. Windermere agents now have the ability to pre-qualify homes for clients based on drive time between. This helps speed up the purchase process for both the agent and the home buyer by avoiding wasted time looking at homes that don’t fit the buyer’s preferred drive time to work. This also helps remove a potential element of buyer’s remorse by reducing the risk of the commute time becoming a deal breaker later in the sales process.

With home sales back on the rise and the summer sales season just around the corner, we couldn’t think of a better time to introduce INRIX Drive Time. Check it out for yourself on Windermere.com. Happy house hunting everyone!

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Latest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) shows U.S. economy chugging along

by inrixtraffic7. March 2013 00:00

Feel like you’ve been spending more time in traffic lately? You might be right, but at least there’s a silver lining.

The latest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) – which now covers traffic trends in 100 metro areas — shows that drivers spent more time stalled in traffic last January than they did in January 2012. This is the second straight month that gridlock has increased over the previous year, ending a long series of year-to-year declines that had stretched back over 23 months. As an indication that more workers, more shippers, and more shoppers are hitting the road, January’s IGI is also a good sign for the U.S. economy. The IGI score was 6.4, meaning the average trip took 6.4 percent longer because of stalled traffic.

Inrix Gridlock Index

Yet it’s still too early to pop open the champagne. While the most recent IGIs have shown an upswing, a look back to 2010 shows just how far traffic has fallen – and how much it has yet to recover.

Inrix Gridlock Index Raw Scores

January’s IGI also showed why Utah was right to take “Industry” as its motto. Its Ogden and Salt Lake City metro areas saw some of the biggest jumps in traffic congestion year-over-year, growing by 202 percent and 113 percent, respectively. This lines up with recent reports that the state has seen more tax receipts flow into its coffers than it had expected. Tennessee also came out a winner: traffic in Knoxville and Memphis increased by 110 percent and 65 percent year-over-year.

As for IGI losers, traffic in the Kentucky region of Louisville was hardest hit: it fell by 62 percent from January 2012 to January 2013. The metro areas of St. Louis, Youngstown and Fort Myers also performed badly, with each seeing year-over-year decreases of at least 50 percent.

How did your city do? Check out the complete list of IGI results here.

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Newest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI): Hope for the U.S. Economy

by inrixtraffic28. January 2013 00:00

The latest edition of the INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) is out and shows that the U.S. economy might be on a comeback.

The IGI score for December 2012 was 15.2, meaning that the average trip took drivers 15.2% longer because of traffic. This might be a nuisance, but higher levels of traffic congestion also mean that there are more workers working, more shoppers shopping and more business activity overall. This latest IGI score shows that gridlock actually fell by 3% from the year before. So why is this good news for the economy?

Traffic usually falls in December, as holidaymakers stay home. While December’s IGI did show a slight decrease in traffic on a year-over-year basis, the 3% decline was actually seven times better than the year before. This is a gigantic improvement from the previous year, when gridlock fell by 21% from December 2010 to December 2011 year-over-year as double-dip recession worries kicked in.

INRIX Gridlock Index

Another pleasant surprise in the latest IGI was the increase in Detroit’s score from November to December 2012. In fact Detroit was the only area out of the IGI’s 10 metro areas to register an uptick from one month to the next. Great news as the Motor City tries to fight its way back to its former glory.

Here’s a look at how all of the areas scored:

  • Atlanta’s IGI score for December 2012 was 9.3, decreasing by 16.3% from the prior month. On a year-over-year basis Atlanta’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 14%.
  • Boston’s IGI score for December 2012 was 14, decreasing by 18.8% from the prior month. Year-over-year Boston’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 5.4%.
  • Chicago’s IGI score for December 2012 was 10.2, decreasing by 24.3% from the prior month. Year-over-year Chicago’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 16.9%.
  • Dallas’ IGI score for December 2012 was 9.6, decreasing by 17% from the prior month. Year-over-year Dallas’ December 2012 IGI score was down by 9.1%.
  • Detroit’s IGI score for December 2012 was 7.2, increasing by 9.8% from the prior month. Year-over-year Detroit’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 24.2%.
  • Los Angeles’ IGI score for December 2012 was 27.7, decreasing by 12.2% from the prior month. Year-over-year Los Angeles’ December 2012 IGI score was down by -6.9%.
  • Miami’s IGI score for December 2012 was 12.9, decreasing by 14.5% from the prior month. Year-over-year Miami’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 3.5%.
  • New York’s IGI score for December 2012 was 21.8, decreasing by 13.3% from the prior month. Year-over-year New York’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 6.6%.
  • San Francisco’s IGI score for December 2012 was 23.7, decreasing by 11.9% from the prior month. Year-over-year San Francisco’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 1.6%.
  • Washington D.C.’s IGI score for December 2012 was 15.6, decreasing by 13.2% from the prior month. Year-over-year Washington D.C.’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 7.8%.

Did you drive more, less or the same amount in December? And what’s your guess for what IGI will say about the economy next month?

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The Internet of the Automobile

by inrixtraffic24. January 2013 00:00

This article was written by Jim Bak, INRIX’s director of community relations, and originally appeared on Huffington Post UK.

INRIX parking Services

A preview of INRIX parking services

 

Thirty years ago a “thinking car” was the stuff of fantasy TV dramas. Three decades later a new breed of intelligent automobiles have driven off the set of Knight Rider and onto our roads making it easier than ever before to navigate from place to place. It’s hardly surprising then that one of the hottest topics at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the “Internet of the Automobile” i.e. the Connected Car.

In fact, six of the ten major automakers were present at the show, highlighting the extent to which boundaries between consumer technology and the car have blurred in recent years. With Google’s self driving cars being actively tested in California and Nevada, proto-types for autonomous vehicles from Toyota and Audi are garnering plenty of attention, but also raising serious questions around safety and liability.

The heartbeat of the connected car is a set of new applications and driver services powered by “big data”. With much of the modern vehicle mechanics managed by software, the connected car has become more than just a way plug in your iPod or listen to Pandora but a powerful navigation aide designed to reduce the time, fuel and frustration we waste every day stuck in traffic. As a vast source of information for improving navigation, the connected car is opening up new ways to improve urban mobility for all drivers.

Today’s connected cars already provide motorists with the fastest route to their destination based on real-time road conditions, but that’s just the beginning. Soon, your car will not only provide the quickest route, but also alert you to the optimum departure time to make a meeting in your calendar based on current traffic conditions. In hazardous weather conditions, it will know the routes with the least amount of ice and snow and when you arrive in a new town it will be able to navigate you to the entrance of the closest, least expensive parking location.

Below are just some of the innovations that will improve the driving experience this year:

Top 5 Connected-Car Innovations at CES 2013

Last Night a Ford Fusion Saved my Life

Improved driver safety is an area where connected cars truly come into their own – provided of course in-car functionality is hands free. Imagine for a minute you are driving alone at night and your car comes off the road. In the future, connected cars will be able to detect that your vehicle has crashed, and as long as you have signal, would be able to auto-dial 911 on your behalf and provide your exact GPS location to emergency services.

Better Services for Bypassing the Jam

While basic navigation systems are great for getting you from A-B, we all know that the shortest route is not always quickest. More sophisticated navigation systems can automatically adapt your route according to both real time and expected traffic conditions over the course of your journey. This minimizes travel time, fuel consumption the dreaded unexpected delay. Additionally, the increasing use of speed data crowd-sourced from actual vehicles and devices traveling the roads vs. just limited areas where government road sensors have been installed allows automakers and transportation agencies to know traffic conditions for all roads – providing drivers with better alternative routes around the day’s jams.

The Car As The Ultimate Mobile Device

Both Ford and General Motors revealed developer programs for their in-car software platforms at CES, as the dynamic in-car dash gains momentum. While some may argue that the Smartphone or Tablet is the domain of the app, there is real value in driving apps tailored for ease of use in the car. Firstly from a safety perspective these apps will integrate with steering wheel controls, heads up displays in the instrument cluster and better voice recognition systems in the car to help keep drivers hands on the wheel and eyes on the road as much as possible. Secondly these apps can tap directly into vehicle data not available on a Smartphone, to help you drive more efficiently to use less fuel, avoid dangerous roads covered in snow and ice, navigate around unexpected road closures due to flooding or locate the nearest charging station based on when your vehicle will run out of charge.

Parking gets a Virtual Concierge

Whether you’re heading to a nearby movie theater with the family or on a business trip to an unknown town, chances are you’ll need to find a parking spot. Now, thanks to in-car parking services from INRIX, automakers like Ford and Audi can help drivers avoid running the roadside ticket gauntlet or aimlessly snaking through multi-story parking garages looking for a space. With listings for 18,000 parking facilities in North America and 42,000  across Europe, this service goes beyond static points of interest on a map and reveals the closest garage to your location, the number of free spaces and even directs you there.

Driving Anthems go Digital

A glove compartment filled with scratched CDs used to be a road trip staple, replaced in recent years by iPod docks and connectors, but the growth in digital downloads is fueling more change still. At this year’s CES there were already a host of in-dash music streaming services from the likes of Pandora and iHeartRadio battling for in-car entertainment supremacy. In the future, this could go a step further, as the connected car becomes the ultimate mobile media center, auto-syncing with your home network every time you pull into your drive. Embracing this change, Amazon launched the Amazon Cloud Player app for Ford SYNC at the show, allowing Ford drivers to access cloud stored digital music in car.

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Jan. INRIX Gridlock Index: Why More Traffic is Good News for the Economy

by inrixtraffic7. January 2013 00:00

Traffic congestion

Traffic congestion is up in 10 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, making the average driving trip 17.7% longer than necessary. This is according to the November 2012 aggregate score for the INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI), a monthly measurement of road traffic congestion.

So, more gridlock is bad, right?

Not necessarily. The good news is that the latest IGI score shows a sluggish yet enduring rebound in national traffic congestion providing further evidence of a slowly rebounding U.S. economy.

The mixed economic picture captured in the November 2012 IGI is all the more notable given the backdrop of lower national gas prices. While headline unemployment rates in IGI’s 10 metropolitan areas have also declined, the high number of discouraged workers nationwide (979,000 in November 2012) may exert downward pressure on overall traffic congestion.

Other highlights from the latest IGI release:

  • New York’s November 2012 IGI score was up 20% over the previous month, possibly reflecting a rebound from the reduced access seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
  • A November 2012 IGI score of 17.2 shows that Boston is regaining the ground it lost after dropping from 17.23 in September 2012 to 16.8 in October 2012. Like all of the cities in IGI, it has yet to retain the highs last seen in 2010.
  • Dallas’ November 2012 IGI score of 11.6 was little changed from its October 2012 score of 11.7, remaining stable in the face of the relatively upbeat assessment seen in the last quarterly survey of the Dallas Regional Chamber.3
  • San Francisco’s November 2012 IGI score saw a very slight decrease month-over-month from 27 to 26.9. The tech-hub’s score remained well above its 2012 low-point of 18.7 (observed in July).
  • Los Angeles once again took top honors with the highest IGI score in the nation of 31.6, meaning that gridlock forced its drivers to endure an increase of almost 32% in the duration of their average driving trip.
  • Miami and Washington D.C. are the only IGI metropolitan areas whose scores have increased every month since July 2012.

For the full set of data for November for the 10 IGI Metropolitan areas as well as other cities and countries around the world visit http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/.

 

Feature photo courtesy of epSos (Flickr)

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CES: INRIX Parking, Updated App, Kenwood Team-Up, and We’re In China!

by inrixtraffic7. January 2013 00:00

2013-international-ces-logo

Greetings from Las Vegas! This week we’re at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Like many companies here, we have some exciting announcements we can’t wait to share with you: the industry’s first global parking navigation service, our INRIX Traffic App gets social, INRIX-powered Kenwood in-dash receivers and the expansion of our premium traffic services to China.

Let’s start with the parking navigation service–the first in our industry. After traffic, it’s one of drivers’ biggest frustrations. INRIX Parking solves this challenge for drivers giving them current hourly parking rates and real-time information on available spaces as well as the ability to navigate directly to the entrance of their preferred location closest to their destination. The INRIX Parking database includes more than 18,000 parking facilities in North America and 42,000 in Europe sourced both for in-car and mobile use from leading providers ParkMe and Parkopedia.

Experts estimate that 30 percent of all the traffic in our cities comes from drivers circling the block looking for parking. By making it easier for people to find a place to park, we’re also helping reduce traffic congestion for everyone.

INRIX Traffp App Social Shares

You can now share alerts on Facebook and Twitter!

We’re also happy to announce a new INRIX Traffic app for iPhone and Android. INRIX Traffic now allows you to help your friends and family as well as and other INRIX Traffic users avoid trouble areas by alerting them to accidents, construction and other delays. Now you can share information about traffic along your route with friends and family members, using Facebook, Twitter, text and email with just a few taps.  Other new app features include:

  • Glance n’ Go:Comparative view in INRIX Traffic makes it easy to quickly tell if traffic is better or worse than normal for a particular time and day of the week.
  • INRIX Departure Times:  INRIX Traffic provides insight into the best time to leave for your destination, helping you be there on time for the important people and events in your life. INRIX Traffic also lets you share your arrival time via text or email letting friends and family know when you’ll be there, taking the “E” out of ETA.

We also just announced INRIX-powered Kenwood in-dash receivers – the first customer to offer INRIX Parking. Yes, INRIX is teaming up with Kenwood to provide real-time traffic information and driver services for navigation in two new in-dash DVD entertainment receivers. We’re providing owners of the Excelon DNN990HD and DNN770HD receivers – the industry’s first receivers with built-in WiFi communication capabilities via Kenwood’s cloud services – with up-to-the-minute traffic information, parking, fuel and weather services. With auto show season just around the corner, expect more news from us soon on when this service will be coming to in-vehicle navigation systems from carmakers.

Finally, we’re announcing premium traffic services in China. INRIX has opened offices in Beijing and partnered with China’s leading traffic information services provider CenNavi to deliver premium real-time, predictive and historical traffic services available initially in 28 cities across China. Traffic congestion in China is among the worst in the world, much worse than in the U.S., so our  partnership furthers both companies’ efforts to deliver premium traffic information, traffic-powered applications and analytics, to help automakers, government agencies, mobile app providers, wireless carriers and media companies improve mobility for drivers in the fastest growing and largest automotive market in the world.

This week is packed with activity – and we hope you can join us! We’re moderating a panel at the Consumer Telematics Show about the future of the connected car; we’re sponsoring transportation for the Techlicious mom blogger event Wednesday night; and then we’re off to the auto shows in Detroit.

Among the many places you’ll see our traffic information and driver services at work at CES are at the Ford, Kenwood and Pioneer booths on the show floor. Follow us throughout the week on  Twitter at @INRIX, and on Facebook at INRIX Traffic.

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Beat Thanksgiving and Black Friday Traffic: Top 10 Busiest Routes

by inrixtraffic16. November 2012 00:00

Traffic

What’s the biggest holiday for travel in the U.S.? With more than 40 million Americans heading over the river and through the woods to visit loved ones each year, Thanksgiving is the chief contender for the title. But with gas prices at an all-time high, we’re predicting that traffic congestion is going to decrease nationally compared to past years.

However, don’t get too excited. You’ll still encounter more traffic than non-holiday times and we’re here to help you plan ahead. To avoid getting stuck in a rush of people heading out of town, we recommend leaving before 2 p.m. on Wednesday. You’ll find traffic pretty light on Wednesday morning if travelling locally (and even lighter if you wait until Thursday morning!)

Stuck at work till 5 p.m.? If you have to leave after 2 p.m., plan ahead for the delay. Nationally, drivers can expect an average trip to be 26 percent longer than normal.

Worst Thanksgiving Traffic – Is Your City on the List?

Here are our predictions for traffic trends in the top 10 cities with the worst Thanksgiving holiday traffic. If your travels take you to these major metropolitan areas this Thanksgiving, make sure you plan ahead for delays – especially if you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Inrix Thanksgiving Traffic Predictions

*Your journey will take on average this percentage longer 

Busiest Airport Routes – Wednesday Afternoon

Heading out of town for the holidays? Check your flight time and plan ahead for delays. We predict that these will be the busiest routes to and from several major airports nationwide:

Inrix Thanksgiving Traffic Predictions

Drivers in Los Angeles can expect to see the longest delays in and out of Bob Hope Airport and heading toward LAX. Los Angelinos heading toward John Wayne Airport via I-5 will fare much better, with the delay only expected to be approximately 8.5 minutes.

Black Friday Forecast – Head Home Early!

Post-family fun, there’s the matter of getting back over the river and through the woods (and maybe picking up a few gifts along the way!) For shoppers and travellers, we suggest that you head out early on Friday if you want to avoid traffic.

Plan to sleep in? You’ll find that traffic will peak between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. as well as the 5 – 7 p.m. dinner hour on Black Friday. As expected, traffic will be heaviest in urban downtown areas and suburban shopping areas. Here’s an overview of the top cities for traffic congestion on Friday:
Inrix Thanksgiving Traffic Predictions

Want to stay up to date on the latest traffic conditions during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Get the INRIX Traffic app on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Safe travels!

 

Feature image by Jonathan Kos-Read

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