Sunday, March 18, 2012

Traffic: TomTom vs Garmin

TomTom vs Garmin traffic

Last week, TomTom announced the results of a University of Michigan study that “concluded that TomTom’s iPhone Navigation App and GO 2535 Portable Navigation Device provide the most accurate real-time traffic data, when compared to a number of competing products.” As I pointed out in my weekly link roundup, TomTom paid for the study (full PDF report available here), which raises questions of bias. Now we have Garmin’s take on it: read more

Garmin nuvi traffic symbols

Gramin nuvi trafic symbol legend sample screenshotI’m not sure how many folks actually take the time to review Garmin’s traffic symbol legend. When you’re fighting traffic probably isn’t the best time to do it, and it’s not that simple to find the legend either. read more

2013 Garmin nuvi series traffic is ad-free

ad free traffic Garmin nuvi 2013 series

Look ma, no ads!

When Garmin introduced lifetime traffic in 2008, it came bundled with their units but was ad-supported. You can see an example in the screenshot below. Personally, I found the ads low-key, but they certainly annoyed lots of folks.  read more

How to get ad-free traffic on your Garmin nuvi

Most people seem to tolerate Garmin’s ad-supported traffic pretty well, and consider it a fair trade in exchange for free lifetime traffic. While it’s true that the ads aren’t very intrusive, some folks are really bugged by them, so let’s look at ways to avoid the ads:

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Garmin StreetPilot Onboard iPhone app gets traffic camera option

Garmin StreetPilot 2.0 PhotoLive Traffic 3Tired of inaccurate traffic data? How about live traffic camera images instead? Well that’s a new option as of today’s update to the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard app for the iPhone. The update will also add live weather info and the ability to share points of interest via Facebook and SMS. While the update is free, the photoLive Traffic Cameras feature will cost you $9.99 as an in-app purchase.

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Google Maps drops traffic time estimates

Google trafficGoogle has quietly dropped their “in traffic” time estimates from Google Maps. When you set up a route in the past, you would usually see two time estimates, including one showing the estimated time “in traffic.” Traffic conditions are still shown, and you can still change the time of day to visually see the impact on traffic, as shown above. But this won’t change the estimated travel time.

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Garmin nuLink gets live traffic cams in Europe

Garmin nuLink PhotoLiveLooks like Garmin is pulling a TomTom, rolling out cool new features on the other side of the pond while leaving US commuters stuck in traffic. The nuLink 2300 series, announced today, brings European motorists PhotoLive cameras and 3D traffic.

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The state of live traffic reporting in the US

Traffic jamA GpsPasSion forum member has posted an excellent piece on the state of live traffic reporting in the US, with historical background, a look at the various ways traffic is reported, and even a ranking of number of probes for the key players. Google tops the list BTW, thanks to their Android coverage. There are a couple of pieces missing (NAVTEQ sources, iPhone probe data sent back to Apple – and no, I don’t have the answers to those), but overall this is the best summary of its sort I’ve seen. There are a few shoes left to drop – Apple’s predicted mapping solution, the fact that Garmin will soon have a lot of probe data as their mobile apps take off, and (as the article notes) RIMs massive network of probes.

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