March 3, 2008

TomTom GO 730 & 930 - "IQ Routes" - Historical Average Speeds

TomTomGO930.jpg
TomTom announced today the launch of new TomTom GO units with what they are branding IQ Routes; or rather GPS Navigation units with a built in database of historical average speeds for roadways. This allows the unit to predict travel time based on what historical traffic patterns allow, not just the posted speed limits on the roads. Come on, we all know that the local highway around the city goes slower at Rush hour, and now this can accommodate that.

This development doesn't come as a surprise, at GPS Lodge, as we've been following the development in Historical Average Speeds for a while now. The pieces were in place; Inrix had the data, and then got together with TeleAtlas to bundle the map and speed data. It was only a matter of time before TomTom rolled with it. The big surprise is that TomTom is actually using traffic data that it collects anonymously from users, and not just a database from a third party vendor. All that driving around with a TomTom, and when you plug it into the computer and agree to share anonymously with TomTom, you are actually helping to build this traffic model.

TomTom makes the claim that it affects up to 75% of the routes driven; could this the data from the fleet of Beta Testers?

The new units also feature a Lane Guidance which will help you drive through complex situations, a feature that Navigon had to its own for a while, but seems like its something that is a big consumer need.

The TomTom GO 930 adds its Enhanced Positioning Technology capability to help guide you accurately when you hit tunnels and lose satellite contact, and it also comes with North American and European maps pre-installed.

Expect the new units come April. Prices at $449 - TomTom Go 730, and $499 for the TomTom Go 930.

Update: Now Shipping - At Amazon - TomTom GO 930 and TomTom GO 930T. Also the TomTom GO 730.

Press release follows....

TomTom, the world's largest portable navigation solutions provider, today announces ground-breaking features and unique content on the new TomTom GO range, including its exclusive IQ Routes™ technology and Advanced Lane Guidance.

The innovative IQ Routes™ technology is based on actual average speeds measured on roads, rather than posted speed limits. This means that the new TomTom GO range determines a route by considering all possible routes and then selecting the one that takes the least time based on recent historical data. In almost 50% of all journeys, this results in a faster route, and saves significant travel time, fuel, and money.

In addition, the new TomTom GO series includes TomTom's Advanced Lane Guidance feature. Advanced Lane Guidance provides users with realistic representations of complex highway junctions and lane-specific visual directions that take the stress out of navigating these otherwise difficult junctions.

The two new features will be available with the new TomTom GO series, the TomTom GO 930 and TomTom GO 730, starting at the end of April 2008.

"With the introduction of IQ Routes™ technology, we continue to focus our efforts on features and content that improves the core navigation experience," said Jocelyn Vigreux , president of TomTom Inc. "IQ Routes™ delivers what we call 'intelligent routing' - an even smarter and more efficient way of planning your daily route that will help TomTom GO users save time, fuel and money."

TomTom IQ Routes™

The new TomTom IQ Routes™ technology is based on actual average speeds on roads, rather than the posted speed limits. This intelligent routing technology is based on anonymous historical speed profiles of over 6.2 billion miles of driven roads, gathered over the years by millions of TomTom users. It takes into account all the factors that may influence the time it takes drivers to get to their destination, including traffic lights, rotaries, steep slopes and speed bumps.

The TomTom IQ Routes™ speed profile database continues to grow at the rate of over half a billion measurements per day, so the time and spatial accuracy of TomTom IQ Routes™ technology will continually increase. Drivers can be confident that they will always be given the smartest route, incorporating detailed local knowledge. This allows for more efficient daily route planning, in particular when driving through urban and mountainous areas.

Advanced Lane Guidance

With the new Advanced Lane Guidance feature, navigating difficult junctions becomes easier than ever before. Advanced Lane Guidance provides users with realistic visuals of complex highway junctions and lane-specific directions. Static images of road signs, in the same color as the ones displayed on the road, ensure that drivers have an even more realistic view of the road ahead, and their specific route.

A host of extra features

In addition to IQ Routes™ and Advanced Lane Guidance, the new TomTom GO range has a new premium look with a high-quality finish, expanded map coverage and comes pre-installed with the latest navigation features, including:

- TomTom Map Share™ technology, enabling users to make updates and corrections to their own maps instantly and to benefit from improvements made by other users, completely free of charge. New Map Share features include the ability to change turn restrictions and posted road speeds

- Latest map guarantee so users always have free access to the latest map at time of purchase

- Voice address input so that users can drive to millions of cities and street names by simply announcing the address of their destination

- Clear voice instructions and text-to-speech to enable street names, places, traffic alerts and SMS messages to be read aloud as part of the spoken instructions

- Enhanced Positioning Technology (EPT) for uninterrupted navigation even in tunnels or highly-built areas (TomTom GO 930 only)

- TomTom RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver, as a compatible accessory, for detailed traffic information

- Large 4.3 inch touch screen with new generation icons and an updated user interface to navigate drivers to their destination even more easily

- Enhanced hands-free calling with high-quality sound system via Bluetooth® to allow drivers to keep their eyes firmly on the road while making phone calls in the car

- Extensive safety features, including the 'Help Me' menu that give drivers direct access to emergency services and roadside assistance

- Built-in FM Transmitter to play music and navigation instructions seamlessly over the car stereo

- New smart & fun extras to personalize users' devices, including recording your own driving instructions, view documents, exchange positions via SMS and Bluetooth™ wireless technology and select a favorite car icon on the screen

- Free TomTom HOME software and content from the TomTom community to keep your TomTom device up to date at all times

- Full range of accessories to match the design and finish of the updated GO range

Map Coverage

- The TomTom GO 930 comes pre-installed with the most up-to-date maps of US, Canada and Western and Central Europe stored on the internal memory

- The TomTom GO 730 includes new expanded map coverage, including the latest maps of the US and Canada

Availability

The new TomTom GO range will be available across North America and Europe starting at end of April 2008.

Product technical specifications

- 4.3" widescreen 16:9 format LCD (WQVGA: 480*272 pixels)

- CPU 400 MHz

- TomTom GO 930: 4 GB internal flash memory, TomTom GO 730: 2 GB

- SD card slot

- High sensitivity GPS receiver

- Bluetooth™

- Lithium-polymer battery (up to 5 hours operation)

- Dimensions: 118 mm x 83 mm x 24 mm- convert to inches 4.6 x 3.2 x 1

- Weight: 7.7 ounces

Read More in: TomTom GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at March 3, 2008 10:53 AM

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