Traffic congestion information will be integrated with route planning applications that leverage Navteq map data to improve estimated time of arrival accuracy within the continental U.S. under a product licensing agreement with LandSonar. The traffic information is provided by LandSonar’s Predictive Speed (LPS) data.

This agreement will add new functionality to Navteq-powered routing applications by “aggregating multiple sources of data held to strict quality standards and appropriately geo-coded,” Navteq stated. LandSonar said that LPS enables Navteq-powered applications to project traffic speeds in increments as short as 15 minutes.

According to LandSonar, LPS in Navteq format is now available from LandSonar and will be available from other parties as an integrated Navteq-LPS product “in the coming months.”

“Until now, digital maps have limited the expression of the speed to static speed limits,” stated Robert Reid, LandSonar executive vp and co-founder. “With LPS, it is now possible for map data to reveal the reality of rush hour in a way that is easy for navigation and routing solutions to use. The plans Navteq has for LPS promise to fundamentally change routing and navigation.”

Veerender Kaul, a transportation analyst for Frost & Sullivan, told FleetOwner that this deal marks a significant step on Navteq’s part to gain commercial market share by adding functionality that appeals to commercial fleets.

“We see this as a significant development in the trucking operations and fleet management arena,” Kaul said. “This allows people in logistics to better plan their resources.”

And with the trucking industry unable to maintain an adequate supply of drivers, the added edge a Navteq-LPS solution would provide makes the timing of the announcement all the better, Kaul noted. “It helps more-efficiently deploy drivers so you get a maximum return on drivers’ time. This might be a tool to mitigate to some extent the driver shortage. Also it would provide a better and more-realistic assessment of what it would cost to accept different routes.”

“[LandSonar’s] teaming up with Navteq and its large customer base gives them a ready market they could target with the LPS solution,” Kaul said. “It validates the value and the accuracy of LandSonar’s solution.”

The licensing agreement also marks another chapter in Navteq’s rivalry with Tele Atlas, a competing map data company. Navteq and Tele Atlas essentially have “a dualopoly” as digital map providers in North America. Navteq is a dominant player in the consumer segment but lacks the same position in the business segment, Kaul explained. “[Navteq] can position this value-added solution to trucking fleets and they have a huge base in consumer market. They’re focusing on commercial fleet for now. In the commercial market they don’t have a dominant space, but they’re still a major player. This enables them to enhance their position in that space.”

Meanwhile, Tele Atlas has partnered with Inrix, another predictive traffic information provider. Contrary to the Navteq-LPS arrangement, Tele Atlas-Inrix solutions are marketed for consumers instead of businesses.

“In the future, obviously [Navteq and Tele Atlas will] be competing for similar markets,” Kaul said. “They’re strengthening positions where they’re not so strong at this moment.”

For more information, go to www.landsonar.com or www.navteq.com

To comment on this article, write to Terrence Nguyen at tnguyen@fleetowner.com