Traffic Alerts on Android

The best of both worlds:

Real-time traffic alerts and minimal battery drain


INRIX is working hard to provide you with the best of both worlds:

i) the ability, from the background, to notify you of upcoming hazards, like accidents and police activity

ii) limiting your phone’s battery drain.

The INRIX Traffic app provides background alerts by using Android’s Location Services functionality that allows us to use cell tower triangulation to determine your location and NOT the battery-heavy GPS chip of your phone.


Let’s start with a shared understanding of the Location Services feature.  The Location Services feature uses a potential mix of Global Positioning System (GPS), Wi-Fi and cell tower triangulation (network-based) to determine your approximate location.  Location Services allows all of your apps to provide you much more relevant content and answers.  In some cases, Location Services calls on GPS, for example when INRIX Traffic is open and in the foreground, so we can determine the exact road you are on, but at other times Location Services uses only cell tower triangulation, such as when INRIX Traffic is in the background monitoring for incidents on your behalf.

INRIX Traffic uses Location Services in three primary ways.

1.   INRIX Traffic open:

When the app is open, like other navigation apps, INRIX Traffic uses the highest granularity location services, which typically relies on the Android phone’s built-in GPS services.

2.   INRIX Traffic in background, alerts on, while driving:

When the app is in the background with traffic alerts on, the app may occasionally invoke your GPS chip, but as a whole uses geofenced incidents and cell tower triangulation.   In our in-house test runs, we notice a typical battery drain from 100% to 96% percent over a 30 minute drive.

3.   INRIX Traffic in background, alerts on, while stationary:

While you are stationary with the app in the background with traffic alerts on, Location Services rarely, if ever, directly invokes your GPS chip instead relies on cell tower triangulation.  In our testing, we have found battery drain to go from 100% to 97% percent over an 8 hour period.

To summarize, while occasionally showing the GPS indicator could be considered annoying, we hope you consider it reassurance that INRIX is monitoring the road around you and preparing to warn you before you find yourself hitting any major accidents or police situations.

Happy and safe driving!

We hope you enjoy using INRIX Traffic. We welcome your feedback, ideas and thoughts at