Toronto-based startup GreenOwl Mobile saw more than 100,000 downloads of its flagship app in Toronto in a year. That’s when the Canadian tech company decided to launch a beta version of the voice-based Traffic Alert in Vancouver.
The app has evidently done well in Vancouver also, as GreenOwl says it now has plans to expand in other cities in Canada, including Ottawa, Calgary, and Montreal “in the coming months.” Indeed, the startup is even eyeing potential partnerships that could see Traffic Alert launch in the US and “other international markets.”
For those who don’t know, the free app, which is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, focuses on delivering a hands-free experience to users. The idea, of course, is that traffic apps are used mostly in vehicles while the user is driving—not the ideal time to be pouring over small maps filled with lines and dots and tapping tiny buttons.
This is a safer alternative, because it delivers detailed real-time traffic information to drivers by voice alerts. This allows drivers to put their phone away and concentrate on the road, while getting the most accurate and actionable traffic information about their route.
GreenOwl says its app gets incident information from its users as well as from all publicly available sources, giving it “the most accurate incident information available.”
To monetize, the startup leverages advertising—and because it’s a voice-based app, it clevery utilizes voice ads, a rarity on smartphones.