Google Maps is about to get real-time traffic data again. And this time, it's going to be fairly accurate in almost two dozen countries. In an atypical move, Google decided to outsource the real-time data provider and has partnered with Inrix.
Inrix provides real-time traffic data in 22 countries in Europe and North America. In the deal with Google, it will supply data for eight countries, but more may follow.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal is said to be worth several million dollars.
"It is obviously a very big win for Inrix in terms of providing data to the premier search provider on the Internet at this point," Bryan Mistele, Inrix CEO, told GeekWire. "The daily commute just got a lot easier for millions of Google users across the world."
Inrix already provides this data to a number of high-profile customers, including Audi AG, ADAC, ALK, ANWB, Coyote, the Ford Motor Company, I-95 Coalition, MapQuest, Microsoft, NAVIGON, Tele Atlas, Telmap, TeleNav, Texas Transportation Institute and Toyota.
In all, it reaches 100 million users at this point, it says. The number is about to grow quite a lot with the Google deal.
It took Google about 45 days to implement the data Inrix and make it available in Google Maps. That's about the time Google removed its own traffic data from Maps.
It used to offer a feature which would predict how much a trip would take, based on traffic conditions, not the ideal ones on which the duration is usually based.
But the feature proved unreliable and fairly inaccurate, so much so that Google dropped it altogether and got together with Inrix instead.
What's interesting is that Inrix is founded by a couple of former Microsoft employees. What's more, it uses Microsoft technology to make the traffic predictions.