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Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele
Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele. (GeekWire File Photo)

The days of the old-fashioned traffic counting strip may be numbered.

INRIX launched a new analytics platform today, leveraging data from more than 250 million devices and connected cars to give businesses and governments in the U.S. and Europe detailed insights into the flow of traffic.

The platform moves beyond basic traffic counts to provide up-to-date analytics based on time of day, direction of travel, vehicle type, origin and destination, and other data. It’s the type of data that’s readily available for analyzing web traffic online, but not vehicle traffic in the real world.

INRIX’s new capabilities are an example of how the Internet of Things “is transforming every aspect of business, government and society,” said INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele in a statement. The company sees this type of data as a key part of the broader effort to build smarter cities.

The new services, dubbed INRIX Insights Volume and INRIX Insights Trips, build on the company’s history of providing real-time and predictive traffic data, helping commuters avoid bottlenecks. The idea is to move beyond those capabilities to provide insights that can shape business and transportation planning. It also could help to differentiate INRIX from Navteq, Google’s Waze and others in the broader market for traffic data and information.

INRIX, based in Kirkland, Wash., has provided a glimpse of these new capabilities in its home region, using its data analytics to shed light on situations such as Expedia’s decision to move from downtown Bellevue to the Seattle waterfront.

The new platform is designed give governmental agencies, retailers and advertisers detailed insights into traffic patterns as they plan new locations and infrastructure. For example, a retailer would be able to use the data to narrow down a list of potential store sites, and an advertiser would be able to tell which billboard locations to chose based on detailed analytics about the cars that pass by, the direction they’re traveling, and time of day.

“We’re moving from being a company that provides information to being a company that provides actionable insight,” said INRIX spokesman Jim Bak.

Privately held INRIX, founded in 2004, has more than 350 employees. With the launch of the new platform, advantage for the company’s business will be the ability to generate revenue more quickly than it does through long-term deals with automakers and larger governmental contracts. Pricing for the services depends on factors including the size of the population in the area being studied, the length of the analysis, and the types of trips being analyzed.

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