TomTom Releases HD Traffic, New Connected PND in the US

TomTom Releases HD Traffic, New Connected PND in the US
TomTom Releases HD Traffic, New Connected PND in the US
At the CES trade show today TomTom is announcing the availability of HD Traffic, its home made real-time traffic information system, in the United States, as well as the first connected PND to support it, the GO 2505 M LIVE. The device will be available at retail stores and from online retailers in mid-2011 for $349 MSRP. A trial subscription of LIVE services will be available for free with each purchase.

LIVE services include HD Traffic, weather forecast, Google local search and real-time Fuel Prices. The wireless connectivity is delivered by AT&T.

The new GO LIVE also offers “Intuitive Voice Recognition” and Bluetooth Hands-Free calling. With access to various voice commands, drivers can say “take me to the nearest restaurant” or ask to “drive to an address.” The device also features a 5-inch capacitive touch screen and an improved click-and-lock magnetic mount.

HD Traffic

The US version of HD Traffic is however quite different from what it is in Europe. Unlike in the old continent (with Vodafone and a few others) TomTom does not have an agreement with a wireless operator to use cell data as traffic probes.

According to TomTom’s senior vice president of market development Tom Murray, in the United States TomTom relies on historical traffic data (IQ Route), “several hundred of thousand traffic probes” and incident data. TomTom claims to provide traffic coverage for 6 million miles against half a million miles for TMC-based traffic information systems.

However, one might wonder how TomTom can provide accurate data for so many roads with so little GPS probes. In comparison, INRIX - with its XD Traffic product - claims to cover 450,000 miles with 3 million GPS probes. The first product reviews will tell how good the service is compared to what is available today in Europe where HD traffic provides a reliable service, especially for Estimated Time of Arrival.

Wednesday, January 5th 2011

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