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Inrix Offers Nationwide Traffic Alerts

Data gleaned from mobile handsets and GPS-enabled vehicles will flag congested areas all across the country.

Using data from GPS-enabled vehicles and mobile handsets, Inrix has begun providing real-time traffic alerts for more than 100,000 miles of roadways, including the entire U.S. interstate highway system.

Inrix Nationwide Traffic Alerts will highlight conditions on major urban, interurban, and rural roadways, and will be picked up and broadcast by Mapquest and others, Inrix said Thursday.

The company draws its information from what it calls its "Smart Dust Network," which consists of more than 800,000 GPS-enabled cars and trucks, data collected anonymously from mobile phones, and road sensors that keep tabs on more than 9,000 miles of roads.

"Inrix's technology platform processes billions of data points per month and uses intelligent analytics to identify patterns of movement that help detect traffic abnormalities on roads where coverage was either limited or simply didn't exist before," the company said in a statement.

One major Inrix customer applauded the move. "MapQuest users will be able to get information about unusual traffic congestion as it happens, as well as highway construction and planned traffic-impeding events while online or have alerts sent directly to their mobile devices," said Christian Dwyer, senior VP of MapQuest. "Inrix continues to innovate and is committed to providing the most comprehensive set of traffic data in the U.S."

Data gleaned by the Smart Dust Network is forwarded to Inrix's operations center where it's blended with real-time incident, construction, and other event data. Then Inrix delivers the most up-to-date information on current road speeds in 106 metro areas, the company said.

Some 2,500 alerts are generated daily, advising drivers of roads that are experiencing abnormal traffic congestion.

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