By Ryan Glancy, INRIX Vice President of Partnerships

As INRIX’s point person on GPS data sourcing, my responsibility has been to obtain sufficient, high quality real-time GPS probe data worldwide to support our wide array of real-time, historical and analysis products across the 40+ countries we operate.  In addition to the sophisticated analytics we apply to the data, the data we’re sourcing that fuels those analytics is proving to be a unique differentiator in its own right, particularly for customers interested in better understanding and improving the flow of freight in their region.  Instead of just sourcing data from say passenger cars, we sourced data from a broad range of sources due to the frequency and road types travelled  varies greatly across various types of vehicles and devices.  Since 2007, INRIX has sourced real-time data from freight vehicles as part of our overall mix providing us with data across all hours and days of the week and in most cases exclusively. The value of this data versus other types of incoming data (e.g., mobile phone or connected car data) is both its geographic and temporal scale whereas consumer data tends to skew to peak periods and urban areas.  This truck data allowed us to be the first in the industry to provide real-time data across the nation’s interstate system 24×7 (2008), with the quality of this data proven by public, third party validations.

Further to that news, we’re announcing today how we’re continuing to make our services even better through our data provider partners.   Through our sourcing efforts and collaboration with existing providers, we’ve tripled the amount of data we receive from long haul trucks as part of our overall mix.   Unlike consumer devices that typically report during rush hours and for shorter periods of time, long haul trucks report out every minute of every hour they are on the road – typically 7 hours+ a day.

The increase in incoming data from these sources, coupled with our high resolution INRIX XD road segmentation, allows us to continuously report conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on each mile of the nation’s 60,000+ miles of highways and interstates – further raising the bar on the quality of the insights we report across all road classes — highways, interstates and heavily trafficked local roads.  Unexpected incidents, impacts of work zones and inclement weather are better detected and monitored using tools like our INRIXTraffic.us XD Monitoring Service with even greater accuracy and precision.  This not only improves the quality of our freight data and analytics services but when combined with the growth we’re seeing from other data sources like mobile improves the quality of all of our traffic intelligence services and analytics tools. In fact, freight is just one example of an area where we source data that’s on the rise.  It’s true of automotive as automakers sell more vehicles with our services in an improving economy and also for mobile devices as we grow our partnerships across the ecosystem.  For example, we’re getting from one of our new mobile providers over 100 million more data points a day alone, helping us improve quality and coverage on arterials and other secondary roads.

While the entire nation benefits from this increase in data, it is particularly helpful along major freight routes and crossroad states, such as Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, etc.  These additional vehicles and devices are already improving services like those used by Indiana DOT (developed by Purdue), to detect and manage back of queues on their interstates statewide (see http://deltaspeed.trafficwise.org/).

In sum, we’ve only just begun to tap into the potential for this data to improve fleet management, inform freight analytics and ultimately help us build smarter cities.  With a growing crowd-sourced network of over 250 million vehicles and devices, expect us to continue to raise the bar on quality as we tap this data to deliver new services.

Guest post by:

Ryan Glancy, INRIX Vice President of Partnerships

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