TomTom Targets Mid, High Ends At CES
By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 6 2011 - 6:01am
LAS VEGAS —
TomTom is adding to its flagship Go series
of portable navigation devices (PNDs) and unveiling a
new mid-range series.
In the Go series, the first Go Live 2500-series PND will
be the first new TomTom PND in several years with embedded
cellular modem, enabling drivers to perform local
Google searches and obtain updated weather reports
and fuel prices. The 2500-series model will also be the
company’s first PND in the U.S. with TomTom’s own cellular-
delivered HD Traffic service, which is operational in
Europe and will go live in the U.S. in mid-2011 for access
through the PND’s embedded cellular modem. The service
will combine real-time incident data and live trafficflow
data, which will be provided by GPS-equipped fleet
vehicles, iPhones equipped with a TomTom navigation
app, and cellular-embedded TomTom PNDs.
The new midrange series, called VIA, brings voice recognition
and hands-free Bluetooth, among other features,
to TomTom’s midrange products for the first time. Bluetooth
and voice recognition appears in two of the four.
The new Go and VIA models will be available in the
spring. Prices were unavailable.
In the new Go Live 2500 series, the first model will sport
the 5-inch capacitive, swipeable touchscreens of the recently
launched Go 2405 TM and 2505 TM at suggested
retails of $299 and $319. All three also offer a simpler
user interface to get to a given screen with fewer taps, and
all three offer the company’s first magnetic mount to dock
the PNDs quickly with one hand.
All three Go models also offer voice recognition, handsfree
Bluetooth, lifetime map updates and continuous route
monitoring, a new feature that automatically alerts a driver
to traffic delays and asks the driver whether to calculate
a faster route.
To these features, the Go Live 2500-series model adds
intuitive voice recognition, which eliminates the need for
special language to control key features by voice. Drivers
can say “take me to” a destination instead of saying
“navigate to,” said product management director Robert
More important, the Go Live model adds TomTom HD
Traffic and other cellular-delivered services. Because of
faster data speeds compared to analog-FM-based traffic
services, the company’s HD Traffic service is promoted
as twice as accurate and able to offer traffic reports on
secondary roads. Faster speed also enables drivers to receive
traffic-flow data, not just accident reports.
The cellular modem also accesses local Google Search
to get points-of-interest information not available in the
unit’s embedded POI database as well as weather and
The subscription price of the traffic/data services hasn’t
The only other cellular-equipped TomTom PNDs are the
three-year-old Go Live 740 and 340. Their bundled traffic/
data services cost $10/month.
For the midrange VIA launch, TomTom is using resistive
touchscreens. Like the new Go Live model, the
four feature the simpler interface, and two of the
four add Bluetooth and voice recognition, two
features appearing in the company’s midrange
products for the first time.
All four VIA models are also slimmer than
current midrange models, and they add a “flip
screen,” which automatically reorients itself
when mounted upside down. The VIA models
also add an integrated mount that folds back
and leaves the PND small enough to still fit in
The four VIA models include the 1405 and
1505 with 4.3- and 5-inch screens. They lack
Bluetooth and voice recognition, but those features
appear in the 1435 and 1535, also with
4.3- and 5-inch screens, respectively. Their
voice-recognition uses the company’s new intuitive
All four come with optional lifetime map updates
and optional lifetime RDS-TMC traffic reports,
and they feature continuous route monitoring.