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For the first time, real-time traffic will be available for no additional charge on navigation devices, as offered by Navigon, a GPS software provider to companies including Pioneer, Sony, Dual, Delphi and Rand McNally.
Navigon is working with ClearChannel's Real Time Traffic service to offer GPS devices that provide free real-time traffic out of the box. Most portable navigation devices (PNDs) charge a fee of approximately $60 per year.
Navigon said its free service will "radically change" the industry's current business model for real-time traffic and help speed up adoption of the service, which has remained at roughly a few percent of GPS sales.
The first brand to offer the free traffic is Porsche Design Group, a European GPS company that made its U.S. debut at International CES earlier this month.
The new Porsche P9611 is a PND that offers free traffic for the lifetime of the unit with the traffic receiver built in. It also offers Bluetooth and access to Zagat Survey information and will ship this summer at a suggested retail of $899.
Delphi is taking another approach to real-time traffic by offering a one-time upfront fee. The company announced at CES it will off real-time real traffic for its recently introduced NAV200 PND for a one-time traffic kit fee of $199, which is good for the lifetime of the product.