Almost exactly one year after its acquisition of Traffic.com Inc., global mapmaker Navteq Corp. opened its most sophisticated traffic hub in downtown Chicago Thursday.
The Navteq traffic broadcast studio at 425 W. Randolph St. features state-of-the-art equipment that measures real-time traffic throughout the city. It is the newest of the company's 27 traffic studios in the U.S., although Vice President Howard Hayes said it's one of the few that also include radio and television stations in the same location.
Company officials could not place a dollar figure on the traffic side of Navteq's business but said traffic information is a growing need they are working to meet.
"We expect to invest and expand in this area as aggressively as we do with our mapping," Navteq CEO and President Judson Green said.
The traffic reports are available on WMAQ-TV Channel 5, XM and Sirius satellite radio and FM radio stations.
The Chicago-based digital mapmaker monitors traffic flow conditions on more than 750,000 miles of roadway across the U.S. and Canada using data compiled by government departments of transportation, police and emergency services, road sensors, cameras and airborne reports.
Navteq has 3,000 employees throughout the world with about 700 located in Chicago. About 25 people work in the new radio and broadcasting studio and another 25 work in traffic. The studio is a cooperative effort with WMAQ, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Tollway Authority.