Updated: MapmyIndia Adds Real Time Traffic Info To Mobile Apps; Select Cities Only?

Location based services and Maps company MapmyIndia has now added real time traffic information to its maps.

At the time of writing this article, the traffic data seems to be available only on MapmyIndia’s mobile apps across Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 and is not present on its web interface.

Its worth noting that MapmyIndia has been offering online traffic updates with BirdsEye tie-up since 2010. However, the service was not quite real time and hadn’t been integrated to MapmyIndia’s web and mobile apps. Also, the service offered traffic data for only three cities – Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai. Update: MapmyIndia has said the tie-up still exists, strangely though the company also added that the traffic data is provided by MapmyIndia itself. Hence, we are not sure of what is BirdsEye’s role in this partnership. We’ve asked for a clarification and will update once we hear back.

MapmyIndia also mentioned that it aggregates this data from a variety of sources which includes an extensive network of on ground probe data. It also claims to have tie-ups with various Government agencies for real time events/incidents based data.

Select Cities only? We checked MapmyIndia’s Android app and noticed that one can tap on the traffic signal icon to load the live traffic layer or remove it. While the app provides real time traffic data for cities like Bangalore and Delhi, we couldn’t find any traffic data for Nagpur, Pune, Panaji or Jaipur.

Hence, its not clear if MapmyIndia has rolled out traffic data for all the Indian cities or only select Indian cities since there is no direct way to check which Indian cities have got live traffic data. In cities where it offers live traffic data, we noticed that the app automatically refreshes the traffic data every minute. Update: MapmyIndia has informed that the service is initially available in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, but they plan to extend it to other cities in the future.

Other Players: In December 2012, Google Maps had expanded its live traffic coverage to six new Indian cities and now offers live traffic information for 12 Indian cities on its web interface and its iOS and Android mobile apps. It had also acquired the Israeli social traffic & navigation app Waze in June 2013 and had integrated real time incident reports from Waze users to Google Maps for Android and iOS last month.

Nokia owned maps and location service company NAVTEQ, had launched its real-time traffic information service, NAVTEQ Traffic Pro in the Indian cities of Delhi and Mumbai, earlier this year, and Nokia had later extended it to its smartphones. Airtel had also launched its own location app for smartphones, which offered voice based turn by turn navigation and real time traffic information, but the app used NAVTEQ maps to offer location and traffic information.

Birds Eye Systems’ Traffline also offers real time traffic updates to commuters by using available GPS data sourced from cabs and buses that are already on city roads. Its currently available in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. In July 2013, the company had introduced paid daily traffic alerts on SMS and email. The email service was priced at Rs 549 per year while the SMS service was priced at Rs 849 per year.

Besides this, Traffic Genie also offers real time traffic information for Bangalore city, through its iOS and Android app.

Traffline Offers Paid Daily Traffic Alerts On SMS & Email

Traffic updates service Traffine has launched paid daily traffic alerts for consumers in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

One can subscribe to the daily traffic alerts from its website. It currently offers two subscription packages — SMS alerts at Rs 849 per year and email alerts at Rs 549 per year. Users can set the source and destination location for which they want to receive updates. They can either opt for a fixed time to receive update or for an on demand alert. For on demand traffic alert one has send an SMS with GET/RETURN to 9243511777 to get current traffic update in and return route of their subscription.

For fixed timing, alerts are sent out 10 minutes prior to the journey time, whereas on demand alerts are sent out within 2 minutes from the time one sends an SMS query, the company claims. Note that traffic updates are available on the website free of cost. It appears that the company also sends out tweets about traffic updates. For example their @TrafflineMum Twitter handle is currently updating with traffic updates during heavy rains in Mumbai and also assisting people who are sending them queries.

Traffline provides real time traffic updates to commuters by using available GPS data sourced from cabs and buses that are already on city roads. The company claims that commuters can reduce road travel time by almost 20% by using Traffline. Traffline is available on Web, Mobile and as an Android app.

Founded by Brijraj Vaghani and Ravi Khemani in March 2009, BirdsEye had earlier received Rs 15 lakh from the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), Ahmedabad, last August. IAN investor members Rajiv Dadlani and Nitin Agarwal have joined the board of Birds Eye Systems. Earlier this year in April, the company Birds Eyes had raised Rs 2 crore from Indian Angel Network (IAN).

While we aren’t aware of any other platforms that offer SMS or email based traffic updates, Birds Eyes’ Traffline competes against Nokia Navigation which recently extended real time traffic updates on web based maps to mobile maps and navigation app, Nokia Drive, on its Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones. Apart from that, MapMyIndia also provides real time traffic updates in Delhi and Mumbai. In September 2012, Virbisol, an IT consulting company, had launched Traffic Genie, an app on Android and iOS platform that updates real time traffic information in Bangalore.

In December 2012, Google had extended its live traffic coverage of Google Maps service in India in six new Indian cities including Panaji, Vadodara, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. Prior to this, it offered live traffic information in six Indian Cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. It’s also worth nothing that in June 2013, Google acquired Israeli location based service startup Waze, that crowd sources traffic information, for an undisclosed amount.