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Traffic History Embedded In TomTom PNDs

Concord, Mass. — Two new personal navigation devices (PNDs) from TomTom feature so-called smart routing systems that select the best route to avoid traffic, based on a database of various roads’ historic traffic patterns by day of the week.

The new models are the GO 730 and 930, due to ship April 29 at suggested retails of $449 and $499, respectively.

 In the future, the devices will also distinguish traffic patterns by time of day, the company said.

“The best or most efficient route might be drastically different on a Monday than a Sunday afternoon,” said

TomTom president Joceyln Vigreux. “IQ Routes takes into consideration historical speed averages on any given road. It makes your ETA more accurate and improves your most efficient route.”

TomTom gathered the traffic-pattern data for its new IQ Routes feature from its network of current TomTom users. Users who periodically connect their PND to their PC to update maps are given the option to share their road-speed information. “We ask our users if they want to anonymously share information with us, and when they accept, we can actually deduce their average speed on road segments, once they connect their PND to TomTom Home [on their PC]. Millions have participated over the past six months,” said Vigreux.

The new models also offer voice input of address, Bluetooth and lane-detail display to help users as they navigate through complicated intersections. The GO 730 includes maps of the United States and Canada, and the 930 adds maps of Europe.

The GO 930 also adds enhanced positioning technology to continue navigating even in a tunnel or where the GPS signal is lost. Both are compatible with an optional RDS-TMC real-time traffic receiver. Versions with built-in traffic service may be available later in the year.

The models replace the GO 920, while the GO 720 will remain in the line until the end of the year.