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 [TOPIC] TomTom's HD Traffic Service - 2011 Update
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offthegrid

USA
400 Posts

Posted - 18 janv. 2011 :  18:59:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
True.

Think about this for a moment. In order for them to show drivers that the route is jammed beyond historical levels at the time - one of the connected devices will have to be stuck.
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 18 janv. 2011 :  19:06:32  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, one...or more, to rule out something specific to this device and unrelated to the traffic situation!

One of the problems they've always had in Europe with HD Traffic, maybe due to the use of the GSM traces, I sometimes got warned of massive jams when in fact it was just a temporary slow down following a small incident on the road.

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offthegrid

USA
400 Posts

Posted - 20 janv. 2011 :  07:21:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My 740 sometimes would suddenly say there was a 60 or 75 minute delay and then it would keep saying it had found a shorter route - did I want to use that until finally it went back to the original road with a short delay.

I'd say there it goes again its having a seizure.
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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 17 févr. 2011 :  01:08:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been living with Live Services for more than a year now in congested downtown L.A. (driving daily right into the downtown area on Figueroa, inside the 10/5/110 freeway triangle, including the 101 freeway connectors ... for those who know the area). Here is my conclusion:

- Not always entirely accurate,
- Frequently at least partially correct,
- Sometimes wrong,
- Sometimes downright magical!

Basically, the magic of this system does not really seem to be the accuracy of the traffic information per se, but the fact that rerouting due to traffic delays can be simply amazing. Perhaps this is due to IQ Routes, or whatever, but the best illustration of this, perhaps, was for the company Christmas party last December. I have always been stuck in traffic for this Friday evening event. For some reason, traffic is always worse than usual.

When using my trusty Garmin, the actual arrival time for a fifteen mile journey on this occasion would be wrong by an entire hour, due exclusively to congested traffic for the last three to five miles of the journey. Attempting to avoid traffic by requesting detours (while stopped at red lights, or something) has never really worked since the Garmin uses completely useless anticipated travel times on every major road and/or side street it might try to send me on. Taking side streets with the Garmin during rush hour always seems to actually make the total delay worse, not better.

Not so this last time. after about one mile, the XL 340S Live announced that the traffic delay was now twenty-eight minutes, but that it had found a better route. I followed its directions and it took me off the freeway just as I began to see red brake lights building ahead. I proceeded to travel along side streets all the way to my destination, driving under various freeways or over them on several occasions. Each time, I could see the vehicles on the freeway crawling along at a pedestrian walking pace. It felt miraculous! The most impressive thing was that the expected arrival time announced with the traffic detour at the very beginning was accurate to within one minute!

I honestly prefer Garmin for many aspects, which I won't detail here, but for route avoidance, the TomTom is in a class of its own. It is not always as good as in the example above, but it happens often enough that the $10 monthly fee seems well worth the trouble.

Will you never get stuck in traffic with the TomTom? You're not going to be so lucky. Sometimes you can be in traffic not moving and the device is not aware of a problem yet. Are there useful options on such occasions? Absolutely. Even if the TomTom is unaware of a problem, you can usually just take an exit (if you know which way you think you might want to go), or ask for a detour to force it to avoid the next two miles or so of a problem road, and expect not just a reasonable alternative, but also reasonably accurate arrival time information for the new route, without just driving into to more traffic elsewhere.

I have just ordered a new XL 340S without Live Services, but with lifetime traffic and map updates. This is for our other car (that currently uses the Garmin), since it does not usually drive in the worst traffic and it would not be useful enough to pay another subscription. It will be interesting to compare Live Services traffic to regular traffic information available with no subscription. Both units have IQ Routes.

P.S. Remember that Live Services traffic in the U.S.A. is not described as HD traffic, even if it is a "premium" (subscription only) service. There is no lifetime prepaid option for this service to my knowledge and TomTom does not currently show any U.S. cities with the HD logo on the nationwide traffic map. Traffic information without Live Services, which is available for the lifetime of the product, seems to be currently provided by the Total Traffic Network.

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)

Edited by - Kex on 17 févr. 2011 16:40:29
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offthegrid

USA
400 Posts

Posted - 22 févr. 2011 :  01:54:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The US will have branded HD Traffic this spring and we all knew its not considered HD Traffic here right now. They get their data on real time traffic from TrafficCast but that will be changed once they go to their own deal apparently but it will be HD Traffic in name only.

Rumor is that the 2535 (below) will be released on March 10.

http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products/car-navigation/go-2535-m-live/index.jsp
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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 01 mars 2011 :  21:30:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It'll be intersting to see how the service changes when they stop using TrafficCast. It's not perfect at the moment, but as I mentioned in my own experiences above (and I could cite many other examples), it's a whole lot better than nothing and a whole lot better than what we tried with Garmin in the second half of 2007.

The Garmin stayed in the glove compartment after the first month of usage, whereas the TomTom with Live Services and IQ Routes is used every single day, morning and night. We've even discovered at least half a dozen different new ways to get to downtown from our location, and back again. I'd be ready to give Garmin another try, though, if trafficTrends becomes any good: from what I've read it's not nearly as helpful as IQ Routes yet.

P.S. Forgive me for stating the "obvious": that TomTom U.S.A. Service is not really HD traffic. It was intended for the benefit of casual readers who might stumble across this tread when doing some research. That's how I found GpsPasSion myself, when researching our original Garmin purchase and traffic options. A lot of the stuff that seems obvious to me now was complete gibberish back then!

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)
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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 09 mars 2011 :  03:47:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TomTom have now added the HD icon to all U.S. cities on their world map.

http://routes.tomtom.com/#/map/United%2520States%254038%252C-97%2540-1/?center=38%2C-97&zoom=1&ui=8&map=basic

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  03:35:27  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
TomTom Traffic HD Launched in the USA


Indeed, now to see what kind of quality we're getting ;-) As a reminder, here's a report on HD Traffic I wrote after CES in Januay.

A quick look around the SF Bay Area show some surprising results, there is no "surface data" (roads with different colors), I'm only seeing incidents here and there. Obviously you want to get quality traffic information versus quantity but that's a pretty drastic change compared to what I remembered. Comparison with Google below:

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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  05:16:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually, no. That's how it has been for at least the past year on routes.tomtom.com (I started using TomTom in January 2010).

It may be that TomTom claim to only show unusual traffic and actual incidents, not bad traffic that is already taken into account with IQ Routes. In that case, a side street with bad traffic every day during rush hour would never show as orange or red, unless there's an accident or other reason for even worse traffic than usual.

Of course, you could claim that this makes the display less confusing when showing a route summary on a small screen, but you could also claim that it makes it easy for TomTom to hide whether or not their data is entirely accurate very often. All I can say is that, in general, arrival times when taking detours by side streets is very good, to within three to five minutes in general, if not even better ... and certainly vastly more accurate than anything else I have ever used in the past.

It'll be interesting to see if there is any difference now that they are boldly describing it as "HD" for all to see!

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  05:31:21  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm positive there was a lot more data the last time I checked in January when I wrote my CES report after talking to TomTom http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=100734&whichpage=4#979327 (see my comment at the bottom of the page about that, a "difference" like today would not have elicited that comment). Now I may have checked it at a bad time earlier today, will check again during rush hour tomorrow. Clearly if they no longer use TraffiCast there's no way they can show "traffic flow" like Google do, they wouldn't have enough probes for that.

In any case I agree with your comments about showing data that "matters" even if it means losing the "looks" battle with Google. We'll have to see how it goes on the road, I'll try to get a 2535 test unit for that.

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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  05:36:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by offthegrid...
Rumor is that the 2535 (below) will be released on March 10. ...
It was available for pre-order on amazon.com this weekend. $320 for the U.S. version, with lifetime traffic and maps, or $350 for the world version.

I believe that lifetime traffic means it comes with a Total Traffic Network traffic receiver for those who do not pay to maintain their Live Services subscription for premium "HD" traffic information. I also believe that lifetime maps may be for the North America maps only, not for world maps (but don't take my word for it without checking first!).[ed]

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  05:41:17  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting, but best to repost this in the existing 2x35 topic -> http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=139850

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Kex

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  05:50:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion

I'm positive there was a lot more data the last time I checked in January ...
Actually, despite the late hour, there is an unusually small number of incidents here in L.A. tonight. It may be that they are updating something because of the change, but I'll keep an eye on it (I usually consult the service two or three times a week, when I'm not in the car already).

Or ... maybe L.A. drivers are driving so wonderfully because of expensive gas prices! ;-)

TomTom XL 340S LIVE, GO LIVE 2535M, XL 340TM (RDS-TMC) in LA traffic
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 (worthy, but retired)
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2011 :  06:13:09  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, that might be a "plus" of the current price surge...

On the other hand in the SF East Bay there are apparently some traffic issues, with a huge traffic jam according to TomTom and much shorter one according to Google...hard to say who's right without being there. Give the time, Google's data makes more sense on paper though. I tried TrafficTalk but there was no one on the line.




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offthegrid

USA
400 Posts

Posted - 17 mars 2011 :  02:33:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They appear to be showing much less highway backups as opposed to the old system with TrafficCast and a lot more side road incidents. They are definitely showing side roads that they did not before.

This just means that what they are seeing using their own probes is much closer to 'Advanced IQRoutes' than TrafficCasts data was to plain old IQRoutes.

The 740 rarely showed me a better route usually it would just say I was still on the best route but on occasion it did reroute me.
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