Inrix has been on a serious roll lately. And the Kirkland company just scored yet another big deal, winning a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to provide real-time traffic data to Google’s navigation and mapping properties.
“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,” Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele tells GeekWire. “The daily commute just got a lot easier for millions of Google users across the world.”
As of today, Mistele said the data is available in eight countries and they will be expanding to new geographies over time. Previously, Google had put together its own traffic data through publicly available sources.
“We are providing them much broader coverage and much better accuracy then what they have had available,” said Mistele, adding that Inrix operates the largest crowd-sourced data network in the world tapping into some 30 million GPS and smartphone devices.
The traffic data will now appear on Google Maps as well s Google’s mobile navigation applications. Mistele said that Inrix is simply providing the data, and it is up to Google in terms of how it is displayed.
He’s hopeful that some of Inrix’s more advanced features — such as providing accurate estimated time of arrivals or fuel price data — will eventually make its way into other Google products.
The current implementation has taken less than 45 days to implement on Google.
Interestingly, Inrix spun out of Microsoft about seven years ago and Mistele is the former general manager of Microsoft’s automotive group. Microsoft still receives royalties from Inrix, though those payments are expected to expire next year.
Inrix provides some traffic data to Bing’s voice portal, but not to the main search engine property. “We’d love to see them join the portfolio of customers,” said Mistele when asked about the Bing search engine.
Inrix has more than 200 customers, including navigation providers like Garmin, automobile manufacturers like BMW and Internet mapping companies like MapQuest. It employs 275 people worldwide.
Related: In other news today, Inrix said that it has added several new features to its Inrix Traffic App for Windows Phone. Those include Live Tiles which allow users to save traffic map views around selected chokepoints and deeper integration with Bing Search. More in the press release.
UPDATE: Google provided this statement in relation to the Inrix deal.
Google is committed to providing our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible, including live traffic updates. The traffic data on Google Maps comes from a variety of sources, including government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile who contribute anonymous speed information through our traffic crowdsourcing feature. (For more information, check out our Crowdsourcing blog post.).