2. March 2012 00:00
How exactly does INRIX deliver such accurate traffic? Is it magic? Dad, are we there yet? These are three of the more popular questions I hear these days. The answers: INRIX “crowd-sources” the traffic; No; Let me check my mobile app.
OK, so what is “crowd-sourcing” and how does INRIX do it? Well, in February, we surpassed the 70 million GPS-enabled vehicles and devices milestone in our crowd-sourced network, the INRIX Smart Driver Network (pictured below). We gather information anonymously from cars, trucks, taxis and many other types of vehicles as well as from GPS-enabled smartphones like the iPhone, Android-based devices, Windows Mobile phones and Blackberries.
Each of the 70+ Million devices provides anonymous real-time data as input to our traffic content. Everyone who uses our free INRIX Traffic mobile app, is automatically a member of this 70 Million club. When you use the app, you anonymously send us “GPS probe” speed datapoints to our INRIX servers which intelligently combine the information with billions of real-time speed data points from other drivers in the INRIX Smart Driver Network. Wait a second. Billions, with a “B”? That’s right the 70M devices send us billions of data points per month. Now that is crowd-sourcing at its finest and a great showcase of the power of the “network effect.” Or as famous writer and scientist Arthur Clarke put it “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.
Let me show you. On the left are snapshots of the US and Western Europe, with each little red dot representing a single GPS speed data point during a typical one hour time window and on the right is the resulting traffic report as you know it showing the zoomed out traffic coverage we provide on the road networks. Magic? No. Patented work from very smart software engineers? You bet.Finally, INRIX updates the traffic conditions every 60 seconds in 30 countries to ensure you have the very latest conditions to avoid the traffic and save time, gas and money.
Thank you for being a valuable member of our community. Please drive safely and recognize that by keeping the app open while you drive, you are a member in the world’s largest crowd-sourced traffic community.
Kevin Foreman, VP, Mobile Applications