Washington-based INRIX (www.inrix.com) has released the latest version of its historical traffic speeds product, Nationwide Average Speeds (NAS) version 2.0.
Designed for navigation application providers and device manufacturers to improve the accuracy of fastest-route calculations along more than 750,000 miles of U.S. roadways, NAS provides “typical” or average speeds and travel times in as short as 5 minute increments for each day of the week, by season and for holidays across all major freeways, highways and arterial roads throughout the U.S., according to the company.
To calculate average traffic speeds, INRIX says that it leverages over 5 billion specific data points from the past two years from the company's “Smart Dust Network,” combining data from over 650,000 GPS-enabled vehicles and virtually all of the DOT road sensors across the country. This latest version also takes into consideration typical traffic on both major and minor U.S. holidays, as well as the more severely congested days leading into holidays.
According to INRIX, its Nationwide Average Speeds enables significantly higher accuracy because it is based on typical traffic congestion during specific times of day rather than upon the posted (static) speed limit for segments of roadways. For example, the speed limit on Interstate 5 throughout the Seattle metropolitan area is posted at 60 mph, however INRIX calculates typical speeds on every road segment (typically 1-3 miles) in the area, showing the average speed on I-5 North at the I-90 interchange as 26 mph on Mondays at 7:30 a.m. in the fall and 42 mph on Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m. in the summer.
“For most fleets, predictive traffic flow data is actually more useful than real-time data,” says Ryan Glancy, sr. director of business development for fleets at INRIX, “because it can be used to develop better routes and provide more accurate delivery time information to customers, plus it can always be supplemented with real-time traffic data.”
The new version of NAS was released this month, and the first navigation devices using INRIX's historical traffic data are expected to ship this fall. The company also offers real-time incident data for 122 markets.