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OpenCar lets Inrix offer a user interface that can be customized by carmakers (Photo: OpenCar)

Inrix has acquired US automotive software maker OpenCar in a move to get a bigger share of the dashboard in future connected cars.

The traffic data specialist said the acquisition would allow it to offer more third-party content on a platform that is fully customizable by carmakers.

Inrix cited the prospect of 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020 as a major driver of its expansion. “With the OpenCar acquisition, Inrix is in the driver’s seat to provide those connected services and expand into the digital dashboard,” the company’s CEO, Bryan Mistele, said in a press statement.

OpenCar, which has had a strategic partnership with Mazda for the past five years, has built an application development framework that, in contrast to Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay, provides greater control to the car company.

“OpenCar enables automakers to create an end-to-end ecosystem for in-car applications that make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to be behind the wheel,” Jeff Payne, the company’s CEO, said in the press release. He added that becoming part of Inrix will give his company an opportunity to grow its customer base worldwide with more automakers.

Separately, Inrix announced a new, next-generation driver assistance platform that will use cloud-based machine learning to provide predictive routing information. The system, called Autotelligent, can be combined with other Inrix services, which will make it easier to integrate into cars.