Tele Atlas, that company that creates mapping databases for many GPS devices, has teamed up with software startup Inrix, and the result is new trafficking software that uses billions of pieces of historical traffic data to predict how congested roads will be throughout the day.
You'll be able to use this software algorithm along with your GPS navigation system to receive accurate estimates of traffic flow, without paying for live traffic updates. What if there's an accident? There is one way to make this system even more accurate.
Plenty of services available today sell you real-time traffic information, and this Tele Atlas system will also give you that option, but when you team that live data up with this huge database of historical traffic data, you get what the company says is a much more accurate estimation of exactly how long it will take for you to get to your destination at any given time of the day. But that real-time data is only available in 94 cities thus far, and of course, you'll be required to shell out US currency for the privilege of receiving it.
Even without that real-time data, with this software on board your car's GPS unit, that "time to destination" number can be much more accurate. Now, GPS systems typically use posted speed limits to give you an estimated time of arrival, but this software's smart algorthms, whether used alone or especially with live traffic data, will give you an ETA number that's likely to be a lot closer to reality.
Mapping Traffic Flow [Technology Review]