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 Traffic Information (TMC)
 Fm Traffic Vs. XM Traffic
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TornadoNow

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 27 mai 2006 :  00:18:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey all,

I just bought a Garmin 2720 on Monday. I have been trying out the FM Traffic reciever all week, and am generally impressed! However, alot of events traffic.com has are missing, and the events it does pick up are very vague. For example, yesterday I-80 was closed due to a gravel truck flipping over. the FM Traffic said "accident: Road closed". http://www.traffic.com said "Gravel truck flipped over, gravel all over road. Traffic jammed Larkin Avenue to Route 30." Also, today the radio reported an accident blocking the intersection of Ogden and Finley Rd, as did Traffic.com. My FM Traffic never noted it.

QUESTION: Does XM Traffic give details on events like the ones above? Does it report events on secondary and residential streets like Traffic.com does? Anybody with any insight into this, PLEASE let me know. I can return the 2720 for two weeks, and if XM is better I will get the 2730. THANKS!


Kurt

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edrock200

8 Posts

Posted - 06 juin 2006 :  21:14:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Man, I am NOT impressed at all with TMC. I wonder if there is something wrong with my unit.

I live in the Washington DC area. In my wife's car I installed the Pioneer AVIC-Z1 with XM Traffic Navigation. The unit works well and is accurate about 90% of the time on traffic issues. I generally travel 66 and 495.

I purchased a Magellan 860T for my other vehicles. The unit locks onto 106.7 with a TMC signal of 10/10. If I press enter on the status screen it gives me a list of events but it's very cryptic, all numbers. However, NOT ONE SINGLE event shows up whether I'm on a route or not. This morning there was tons of traffic AND planned contruction on 66, neither of which showed. I've been using this unit for a week now, I've run into plenty of traffic jams, accidents, contruction events, etc and not once has this unit told me about the incident or even displayed anything on screen.

Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, I've reset the unit, tried moving my antenna around etc to no avail. I've decided to return this unit in favor of the Garmin 2820 with XM traffic. I know it works and I want XM in my car anyway.

Edited by - edrock200 on 06 juin 2006 21:16:28
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gpspassion

94651 Posts

Posted - 06 juin 2006 :  23:26:56  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well you're breaking new ground with TMC on the 860T, seems like you have the events, but the software isn't using them properly ?

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TornadoNow

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 13 juin 2006 :  03:48:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with you edrock. I had my 2720 for two weeks and I returned it, am waiting for my 2730. I was VERY unimpressed with the TMC, it was VERY unspecific. I understand that the XM stuff is pulled from traffic.com's data which is usually quite accurate. So, as soon as I get that I will let you know how it is! Until then, let's hope TMC gets a hint and makes some DIRE improvements, because in Chicago, just doesn't cut it. I-88 was totally backed up, no warning, but traffic.com had it before I left the location I was at. We'll see, we'll see!

Kurt

Kurt
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TornadoNow

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 24 juin 2006 :  00:01:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EXTREMELY HAPPY with XM traffic. It lists MANY more events than TMC!!! It got me out of 3 jams today, plus an accident on US-45! ITS A KEEPER!!!

Kurt
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txtxyeha

11 Posts

Posted - 21 août 2006 :  14:20:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After one month's use the FM Traffic module continues to disappoint. While I love my nuvi 350, I cannot think of a time where the traffic module has given me insight.

From a technology standpoint it works. You can see on a list all the traffic impediments (e.g., construction, traffic conjestion, wreck) and each is rated a green, yellow, or red. If one of these impediments is on your route and it is rated yellow or red, an orange diamond will appear on the map to prompt you to investigate. It can even highlight how much traffic is backed up.

One thing the traffic module does not do is calculate how much time traffic tie-ups will add to your trip. Wish they would fix that. It is also a shame that the FM antenna will not plug into the mounting bracket, therefore you have to plug/unplug vitually everytime you get in/out of the car. These two issues are minor nuisances.

The major nuisance is how the technology is executed - not well at all. I lay all of this at the doorstep of Clear Channel. I find myself in a traffic jam slowing down to 0 mph - but there's nothing on the map. There is an accident on the map (should I re-route?), but when I get to that spot nothing is there and traffic is running at the posted speed limit. Both happened on this morning's commute alone. One time it had a major close-down-the-highway-reroute-all-traffic-to-the-feeder-roads accident as being in the north-bound side of the highway. It was on the south-bound side, and I found myself trapped on the feeder road.

I sent an email to Clear Channel to volunteer sending emails to whatever person that controls this. Got a nice, "Thank you and we will forward your request on to the appropiate person."

My free subscription runs out in 14 months. Something tells me the service will improve by that time. If the service did not improve, I could not for the life of me understand why someone would pay $65/year for it.

This could be a best-thing-since-the-microwave product. Right now it's just a frustrating disappointment.
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milst1

3 Posts

Posted - 06 sept. 2006 :  15:40:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I see general happiness with XM traffic and general displeasure with FM traffic. Generally.

I'm looking to upgrade from my garmin streetpilot 330c and I want sirfIII technology. Are there any units (Garmin or otherwise) that have the XM traffic AND sirfIII receivers?

We live in Manhattan and need sirfIII for canyon driving, and XM traffic for the best and most complete possible traffic info.

Thanks and great forum!
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txtxyeha

11 Posts

Posted - 07 sept. 2006 :  14:37:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another frustrating report using FM Traffic, though admittedly it did not cost me any time. At 5:30 a.m. this morning I am traveling south on I-35 outside of Austin (but well within the coverage area) when I drive by a two-car accident in the north-bound lane. EMS/fire trucks on the scene, traffic backed up about 0.5 miles. 5:50 a.m. a Clear Channel radio station reports the accident on the radio. At 6:00 a.m. three areas of the usual traffic conjestion popup on my nuvi, but not the accident on I-35.

Last week I land at Austin-Bergstrom airport and am traveling north on I-35 at 8:30 p.m. with my nuvi telling me I will be home at 9:15 p.m. (tell my 10 year old to wait up for me). FM Traffic is reporting the usual construction on I-35 in North Austin, however, everything is green. Ten minutes later I hit traffic as they are reducing I-35 down to one lane for construction. This cost me 25 minutes and a crying child as I call back and say I don't know when I will be home and to go to bed. This could have been easily avoided if Clear Channel would have given me a heads-up.

A child boo-who'ing himself to sleep is not the end of the world, but I don't know where else to go to vent.
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milst1

3 Posts

Posted - 15 sept. 2006 :  15:24:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While we're talking about XM, does anyone have an opinion of the Garmin GXM 30 SmartAntenna? I'm worried about the mounting issue. One thing we like about the StreetPilot 330c is that we can bring it with us on trips and it can easily transfer from car to car. But the GXM 30 traffic antenna, does that have the same mobility, or do we have to hard mount it? Thanks.
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milst1

3 Posts

Posted - 15 sept. 2006 :  15:26:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I'm aware that the GPS unit and XM antenna to which I'm referring are not compatible. I'm getting a new GPS and I want XM traffic. Thanks.

quote:
Originally posted by milst1

While we're talking about XM, does anyone have an opinion of the Garmin GXM 30 SmartAntenna? I'm worried about the mounting issue. One thing we like about the StreetPilot 330c is that we can bring it with us on trips and it can easily transfer from car to car. But the GXM 30 traffic antenna, does that have the same mobility, or do we have to hard mount it? Thanks.


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Kilgore Trout

33 Posts

Posted - 17 sept. 2006 :  21:00:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
> But the GXM 30 traffic antenna, does that have the same mobility, or do we have to hard mount it?

Just place it as far forward on the dash as possible. Don't attempt to mount in on the roof. There really isn't any "easy" and "clean" way to mount it on your roof if the dash location doesn't work.
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txtxyeha

11 Posts

Posted - 08 févr. 2007 :  21:20:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I continue to be disappointed with TMC. Ready to switch to XM.

Does anyone have any comments about XM Traffic's reliability, especially in Austin? Is there a GPS unit on the market that integrates the XM Traffic into one single unit, thus avoiding spending extra for the GXM SmartAntenna?
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velobard

42 Posts

Posted - 29 mai 2007 :  18:46:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Given the general attitude that XM traffic is better than TMC, I have to wonder why XM doesn't have better penetration among the manufacturers. Garmin had it with a few models, but now all their nuvi series only offer TMC.
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txtxyeha

11 Posts

Posted - 20 juil. 2007 :  15:56:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a unique experience this week I thought I would share. I was heading home in Austin traveling north on MoPac and arrived at a two-car wreck within a minute that a firetruck arrived at the same wreck. It took TMC 25 minutes to post that wreck on my Nuvi 350. This occured at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday, for whatever that's worth.

Rightly or wrongly I am saving my money to buy a Nuvi 680 for the sole purpose of accessing the MSN traffic network. I believe they use the same source of data that traffic.com uses. Anything has to be better than TMC. As you can see in this thread I have been patiently waiting for a year for Clear Channel to get it's act together and it's just not happening.
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gpspassion

94651 Posts

Posted - 20 juil. 2007 :  19:06:54  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Different transmission, FM for RDS and MSN and XM, but the underlying technology is still TMC (coding of events and maps) and the underlying data too. I'm seeing some traffic flow data on the 680 though so they do seem to have enhanced it somewhat.

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