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It’s not Apple or Tesla, but Inrix has 500 million vehicles with data

On November 16, 2021, in New York, cars and trucks are moving on the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the infamous section of the New York Highway that is often jammed with traffic and contributes to pollution and poor air quality.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

In this weekly series CNBC examines companies that entered the first list of Disruptor 50 in 10 years.

Transportation has been a big part of CNBC Disruptor 50’s list since its inception in 2013, and some of the original transportation destroyers have become known.

This includes Waze – then an Israeli GPS startup with little brand recognition in the US compared to Garmin or TomTom – which was acquired by Google for more than $ 1 billion and has long been critical to drivers avoiding speeding fines. and knowledge of nearby Dunkin ‘Donuts. Uber, which despite fighting funds, has undoubtedly changed the basic notions of urban mobility. And SpaceX, which leads to the most ambitious goals of disrupting transport.

But another name from this original D50 list remains less well known to the public, but it is a key link in planning the future of transportation: Inrix.

The company, which is now nearly two decades old (it was founded in 2004), remains on the board, but its reach in understanding the complexities and challenges of the transport sector is growing. TomTom also remains a competitor. When Inrix, based outside of Seattle in Kirkland, Washington, was launched, the pressing issue was the fact that the world was still relying on helicopters to monitor traffic. “It was modern art to find out what was going on,” says Brian Mistele, CEO and co-founder, and former CEO of Microsoft and Ford.

Now Inrix, which operates in more than 60 countries and several hundred cities, collects aggregate anonymous data from 500 million vehicles, mobile devices, mobile applications, parking operators, mobile operators and smart meters, all in real time, covering both consumers. and the fleet, as well as an introduction to a system that finds commitment among government agencies and transport planners reviewing urban mobility.

This week, Apple reviewed its CarPlay technology at WWDC, and it would be good for Siri to once adjust the temperature in your car, but Inrix has on its to-do list a number of tasks from reducing the climate trail of urban traffic with tools including time optimization , to see how stand-alone robots will work in cities, picking up and disembarking passengers, and finding your own parking space if needed.

The core of the company’s mission has not changed: its intelligent mobility is based on GPS data. Extracting GPS data from cars and phones has led to the work of the company and to customers such as IBM, Amazon and automakers. The biggest changes since the early years go beyond the basic data to the software model as a service, and this model is being adopted by the most growing customer segments: cities like New York and London, and additional geographies around the world. including Dubai.

Zero accidents, zero carbon, zero traffic

Inrix continues to work closely with many private sector customers, including auto giants such as BMW and GM. In fact, one of the latest deals is the creation of software from GM-based cloud software that coincides with one of the biggest goals of public sector agencies: reducing failures and deaths. Inrix and GM are using data from GM vehicles on airbag deployment, hard braking and seat belt use, and from the U.S. Census as part of a dashboard for city planners to ensure “Vision Zero” doesn’t die on the roads.

“Accidents kill 1.3 million people every year,” Mistele said.

These figures are also growing in recent years, particularly in the US, with a record set in 2021.

The recent $ 1.2 trillion Bipartite Infrastructure Act (BIL) includes approximately $ 5 billion in discretionary funding under the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program to help the public sector address this issue.

“Roadway analytics is a big area of ​​revenue growth,” Mistele said. “A huge amount of money comes to the public sector from the infrastructure bill,” he said.

Software data traffic as a service now accounts for up to 30% of the company’s total business and is growing with an overall annual growth rate of 40%.

The “zero” vision also overlaps in order to make transport carbon-neutral and reduce the number of accidents, ultimately, through the use of autonomous vehicles.

About a year ago, Inrix launched a traffic light synchronization product that in pilot cities such as Austin, Texas, demonstrated a 7% reduction in congestion, “from nothing but optimizing traffic light signals,” Mistele said. The Florida Department of Transportation has also adopted this technology. “Every second of delay is 800,000 tons of carbon, or 175,000 cars,” he said.

Although full self-government and autonomous urban mobility have developed more slowly than the most ambitious forecasts, they are moving forward, and just last week GM’s self-driving cruise robot Cruise received approval in San Francisco.

“We really believe in ACES,” Mistelle said, referring to “autonomous, connected, electric, shared” vehicles. The transition to a model of mobility as a service will be increasingly associated with the growth of autonomous transport. “Instead of going to the city and parking for eight hours, in most urban areas you will see mobility provided as a service and jointly,” he said. “How to do it? Giving vehicles better information,” he added.

He believes that ACES and robotaxis will make transport safer, but this will require them to obtain data on everything from road closures to parking landing sites. “We are mapping these urban areas meter by meter … managing curbs will be more difficult,” he said.

According to Mistello, although there is always a lot of hype with new technology and a period of “return to reality”, progress has been made by companies including Cruise and Waymo in the robotics space and Nuro in robot-delivering consumer goods such as pizza, the deployment now taking place in cities, and the rise in autonomous vehicle production lead him to believe that over the next decade it will be a model of transport that will be used in most major urban areas.

“I don’t think we’ll see that it will be widespread across the U.S., in rural areas where there is no need or options for use. But EV and stand-alone, as well as the transition to mobility as a service will be ubiquitous, ”he said.

More coverage of CNBC Disruptor 50 2022

There was a moment at the beginning of the pandemic when the world literally stopped moving and Inrix was worried about her business, but it didn’t last long. In fact, Mistelle says that radical changes in mobility patterns, never seen before March 2020, have increased the need for planners, both in public transport and in business, to better understand vehicle data, and this is the moment of the pandemic. became crucial for his transition to a software model as a service.

As one example, he said that companies in the tire sector need to analyze mileage data – variable № 1 in this niche – more than ever before to determine consumer demand and the appropriate level of production. And in the retail sector, companies were trying to understand traffic patterns and close stores, or move them to new locations.

Inrix data also has less obvious applications, for example, in financial services, where hedge funds want to know how many people visit a car dealership in the mall, as well as traffic to and from ports, especially from the supply chain under heavy pressure during a pandemic. .

Today, the company has 1,300 customers in its growing public sector, a private enterprise that includes a variety of companies such as The Weather Channel and IBM’s Chick-fil-A, as well as the automotive sector.

Inrix has been profitable for most of its history, operating through its own cash flows from 2005-2007. “Growth in some years is better than in others,” Mistele said, and customer attitudes may change – with new use cases emerging during the pandemic and car sales falling for several years before a big rebound – but the company is making double-digit growth on an annual basis.

And after nearly twenty years of private ownership – with major investors including venture capitalists Venrock, August Capital and Porsche – it nearly pulled the trigger of the initial public offering to close the IPO market. For the past six months, he has been “very busy” working on an IPO deal and has been very close to filing for securities. “We even had a ticket reserved,” Mistele said. “We were ready to go, but the market collapsed after Russia invaded Ukraine,” he said.

One of the oldest Disruptor is on hold with its exit strategy, but Mistele said it will evaluate the market every few months.

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It’s not Apple or Tesla, but Inrix has 500 million vehicles with data

Source link It’s not Apple or Tesla, but Inrix has 500 million vehicles with data

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