NIM acquires TrafficGauge, to crowdsource traffic information

March 4, 2009

U.S.-based mobile navigation provider Networks In Motion (NIM) announced yesterday the acquisition of TrafficGauge, a provider of real-time traffic information in the United States.

“By acquiring TrafficGauge, NIM will be able to leverage the company’s data-aggregation server technology to further enhance the usability of NIM’s popular navigation applications. This quantum leap in traffic flow accuracy, along with superior information about conditions used when calculating detours, will better meet customer expectations on traffic avoidance”, said Doug Antone, CEO at NIM.

This acquisition brings the expertise of TrafficGauge’s staff into the NIM team currently working on a traffic sharing system built upon traffic feeds (from NAVTEQ or INRIX) that were previously introduced by NIM in its platform. Through this new system users of NIM navigation service on their phones will help generate “traffic sharing” information based on their speed, location and direction anonymously collected by NIM.

“The acquisition will enhance NIM’s existing services and does not mark a departure from the company’s focus on location-based services for mobile phones”, Antone noted. He however added: “NIM has no plans to enter the merchant traffic data business”.

The acquisition did not include TrafficGauge’s historical business such as hardware devices, customer base, service contracts or Web properties.

With this acquisition NIM expects to deliver what Dash Navigation promised and did not realized before getting out of the PND business: aggregate consumer traffic probe data on a large scale. Until now probe data coming from commercial fleets have been limited to about one million probes in the United States (the number claimed by INRIX today) and the patterns of these fleets is often different from consumer-generated data. With over three million subscribers today, NIM system will bring more accuracy, especially on less travelled, secondary roads, where data is limited today.

NIM has not yet indicated when this “traffic sharing” system will be live, only saying that “these advancements will be reflected in the next iteration of NIM’s NAVBuilder platform”.