Traffic Avoidance

Inrix software starts with a mass of data obtained from government agencies to predict traffic flow and areas of congestion.

Published: 29-Dec-2005

In the interminable battle against traffic, a growing number of government and private initiatives offer U.S. drivers high-quality real-time traffic data and even short-term predictions of travel time from, say, one freeway intersection to the next.

But most of the forecasts don't extend beyond 15 or 20 minutes. Though a veritable traffic jam of companies has sprung up to offer data, they generally inform commuters of snarls as they occur, which is often too late for drivers to change their plans.

Now, actual traffic prediction -- forecasts of congestion levels hours and even days in advance -- is on the horizon. It's coming from Kirkland, WA-based Inrix, founded in 2004 by former Microsoft executives Bryan Mistele and Craig Chapman and former Expedia executive Seth Eisner.

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