Sunday, March 18, 2012

TomTom Study Reveals Global Traffic Congestion at All Time High

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Many GPS devices include some sort of traffic information—even Google Maps now has this ability. While in the past it was a subscription service, now it’s offered free with many dedicated automotive GPS devices. However, I constantly hear people saying that their GPS traffic is useless or that it is one of those bloat features that you don’t really need. But after reading a recent report from TomTom, I think that some people may start to change their minds.

For the last six years, TomTom has conducted a study of traffic and congestion across the world. Called the TomTom Traffic Index, this study was released recently with information on 2016 traffic trends. And, as anyone who drove in a major city could tell you, traffic definitely didn’t reduce in most places. In fact, globally, traffic rose an average of 10% in 2016, and is up a whopping 23% since 2008, when the study was first conducted. read more

TomTom Sports App to Debut on Apple, Android Devices

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For athletes, there are dozens of apps that provide a wide range of statistics and ways to measure your performance in whatever sport you choose. But, sometimes, all of that data can be hard to process and each app has something that it does well. If you’re into more than one sport, this can result in athletes trying to monitor and compare multiple apps across platforms for all the different activities that they engage in. Now, TomTom has introduced a solution.

The new TomTom Sports App, co-created with several athletes and fitness app users, is designed to help athletes not only track their workouts and data, but do it all in one place. The app can handle 12 different activities and offers various social sharing functions, smart trends, and easy-to-understand performance stats. read more

TomTom and Microsoft Announce Partnership

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The GPS industry has changed significantly over the last five or six years. While once a booming trade, the advert of smartphones with GPS chips hit the industry hard, putting DeLorme out of business entirely (to be purchased by Garmin), while the last few giants standing are left to find alternate ways to make their fortunes. While Garmin has chosen to delve into the fitness tracker and smartwatch territory with its line, TomTom has instead focused less on hardware and more on mapping and navigational technology.

In fact, the last couple of years TomTom has made more deals with companies than it has released new products, and the most recent is actually pretty huge for the Dutch company. Last week, TomTom announced that it has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to provide location-based services to Microsoft’s Azure platform. read more

MapQuest To Continue Deal with TomTom

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TomTom, the Dutch navigation and mapping company, has announced that it has expanded its deal with the GPS navigational software company MapQuest. The original deal, which was first struck in 2012 and has been extended since then, allows MapQuest to use TomTom’s extensive map database for its digital platforms. But this year, some additional things were added.

According to the press release, MapQuest, a subsidiary of AOL, has also brokered access to TomTom’s traffic information, leading speculation that MapQuest will soon be offering better traffic options. Currently, MapQuest already offers some traffic information for drivers, although it is not always accurate. However, this partnership may mean some big things for MapQuest. read more

TomTom Introduces On-Street Parking Service

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We all know the struggle of trying to find parking. It’s especially frustrating to me when I am in an unfamiliar city, usually downtown, and one way streets are getting me turned around!

Fortunately, TomTom is working on a solution for its customers. The company recently announced an On-Street Parking Service. It seems TomTom is staying on track to further develop technology needed for self-driving, or autonomous vehicles. Of course, there are other benefits as well. read more

TomTom HD Maps Pave the Way for Highly Automated Cars

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Just over a year ago, TomTom and partner company Robert Bosch GmbH (Bosch), a leading global supplier of technology and services, began collaborative work on HD maps. The entire goal behind this partnership was to create highly automated, or self driving, cars. TomTom was in charge of designing the maps, while Bosch would decide the specifications the maps needed to meet.

The main difference behind these “high precision” maps is an entirely new level of accuracy—to measure down to the decimeter. Both companies have stated that maps that assist with automated driving are going to have to be a little different than the maps for regular navigation devices.

“Only with high precision maps will automated driving on freeways be possible from 2020,” said Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, a member of the Bosch board of management.
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Do GPS Running Trackers Cause More Harm Than Good?

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Photo by Kyle Cassidy via Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of different parts to the world of GPS. From handhelds to automotive or motorcycle devices, GPS trackers, and fitness GPS units, they’re all very different. However, I think that pretty much everyone can agree that the market is changing. Smartphones are causing steady declines in the automotive segment (although it’s still holding on, contrary to all of the dire predictions of analysts in the last few years) and the fitness tracker category has grown to soaring heights of popularity. Heck, there are more fitness trackers that I can keep up with and they run the gamut from professional runner level statistic trackers that do everything but run for you all the way down to glorified pedometers. But, one has to wonder, with the GPS fitness industry growing so fast, what is the effect on users? read more

TomTom Spark Adds Music to your Workout

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There is some hefty competition going on in the watch world between smart watches and GPS running watches. Both can do similar things with varying degrees of efficiency, but for many having two watches simply wasn’t worth the money. However, in the wake of GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring being added to various smart watches, TomTom has responded by adding music and activity tracking to its own watch.

This week the Dutch company introduced several models of the TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch, some of which will include the ability to store, stream and play music directly from the watch without the need to tether to a smartphone. The watch comes with Bluetooth and can be paired with most Bluetooth headphones for wireless music while on runs or other exercising routines. read more

TomTom Expands Global Maps

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Dutch company TomTom has almost undoubtedly one of the biggest mapping footprints, and the company is constantly expanding and adding new points and details to its global maps. Most recently, TomTom announced that it has added an additional 13 countries, expanded points of interest and made other improvements.

Here are some of the improvements that TomTom has made recently: read more

TomTom Adds Services to Yet Another Fiat

 

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TomTom is all about the in-dash navigation anymore and has announced yet another car that will feature its Live services. The Fiat 500 will come with the Uconnect 5″ Radio Nav LIVE system which will not be available in the United States. This system will feature yearly map updates and the same sorts of navigation things that you’d expect to see in a portable TomTom unit including live speed cameras, weather alerts and local POI searches. Although personally, I’m not sure why you’d want one.

According to the release, the TomTom Live services will be available to consumer for free for the first 5 years and is “the most comprehensive package to drivers ever launched in a Fiat 500…” Of course, I didn’t see any particular notice as to how much the services would cost after the five years are up, but since most people really only keep their cars for a little over five years nowadays, I suppose that might not be as relevant. The press release also said the new navigational system will also be available in the Fiat 500x and other units which will be sold in various countries across Europe. read more