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TomTom LIVE - Success or Failure?
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Graeme2812
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Joined: Mar 14, 2004
Posts: 297
Location: Dundee, Scotland UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graeme2812 wrote:
With such a contrasting set of opinions on how we are all experiencing HD traffic, I have decided to create the following map (inspired by something similar with TMC Coverage) in Google.

HD Traffic Serviceability

I think the more people we can get to submit there experiences, the more we can see just how much HD is covering and how well it is doing.


UPDATE: ok I've correctly set the map up now so anyone who is signed into google should be able to edit the map. Those who are not signed in can still view the map but not edit.

DOH

Embarassed
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Graeme Bennett
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docdoc
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Joined: Sep 21, 2004
Posts: 56
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was initially impressed with HD Traffic but now am not so sure.

At busy times there are definitely problems accessing the traffic server and the yellow triangle appears alarmingly more frequently.

There have been a couple of occasions when driving through Birmingham that enormous traffic jams were not registered. And these were not typical queues that would be accounted for by the IQ routing.
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swarnford
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Joined: Apr 15, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a 540 for about a month now - regularly get 'route not found' messages on start up (does anyone else get this?) and on occasion it takes ten minutes to start working - have to turn off and on several times to help it work. Not impressed and TomTom support to whom I have emailed about 4 times now have been useless - long delays in replying, if I get a reply, and the standard looking answers don't answer my query! Problem has been less obvious over the last week or so though.

Other than that fuel prices are too out of date and there have been a number of map errors (speed and in one case a roundabout at Didcot where it says there is one and one doesn't exist and never has done!) and speed camera errors (which are now about 4 months old). I also find the battery life poor, 2-3 hrs, I am sure the recommendation was 5.

Traffic works for me - M25 was shut on Sunday on my route and I took the diversion which probably saved me at least half an hour, I also like the accurate time to destination calculations - very accurate and the lane assist is a great addition. Bluetooth phone connection works well as does voice recognition. In summary despite some initial gripes - especially about the poor customer service - I'm happy with the device, its certainly better than my beloved Navman S30 which was cheap and effective but had too many map inaccuracies such as sending me 20 miles off course on a trip on Christmas day when I had to get somewhere quickly and on time - that was the final straw, it had to go! I also like the fact you only get speed camera alerts for cameras in the direction you are going in - Navman do both ways, so you find yourself slowing down when you don't have too.
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NutSoft
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Joined: Feb 26, 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Nice design, but sadly lacking Reply with quote

I got a 740 recently convinced I'd appreciate the live services, specifically the HD traffic. Sadly this has not been the case. Whilst I am impressed with the design of the hardware I can't consider all the Live services a success.

The traffic has reported several delays on my way back from Dover to Bristol late on Friday night (20/02/09) none of which actually existed. Most of my motorway journey was very lonely and I spent long periods dashing along in the left-hand lane with nothing to overtake for miles.

The new iQroutes are an improvement over my original TT 700, and the map corrections are a nice to have, but my biggest gripe is that there is no way to top up your Live subscription for when you go driving overseas! I almost didn't buy the 740 after finding this out, and it is still a major bugbear for me. Surely it can't be so difficult to arrange a month of roaming for the limited amount of data the 740 uses?

Will I subscribe to Live? Maybe, but only if I needed it for some extensive UK driving and the reported reliability improved.
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HenryMitchell
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Joined: Jul 04, 2007
Posts: 139
Location: Godstone, Surrey

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thezerocool wrote:
wow, there is some really negative comments and some extreme exagerations. Let me tell the other side of the story.

Ive had nothing but a positive experience with it.

My trial ran out and I used the 14days grace to continue before subscribing. Very good IMHO.

Traffic is incredible, i find it picks up the start of the traffic very accuratly. I questioned why some doesnt appear on it and got a very convincing answer. Traffic only shows where it exceeds the IQ routing speed for the road. So if TomTom expect a 10 minute delay every friday at 5 and there is then its already given you the best route, so why show you the traffic too? Makes sense to me.

I probably save 10-20 mins per day thanks to traffic and several times and month it will save me a significant amount of time on a long jouney, around 2 - 6 hours. So adding it all up probably means I save a day a month thanks to it. Very Happy

Google is great when you need it, and useless when you dont so it depends how you use it. I added something to google online and in the time it took me to get from my PC to my TomTom it was searchable from Google search on my 940.

Cameras are great especially as I already have points and need the protection. I have seen some mobiles missing but reported them.

Fuel prices for me are very accurate. It rounds up to the nearest penny which is a little annoying but apart from that I find its always right. There are obviously some petrolstations (supposedly 90% are included) not listed but when Im without the feature when using my Rider on my bike I feel I need it. Hopefully live service will come to Rider one day soon.

Buddies is something I use, not many do but I often have driven in convoy with Mrs ZeroCool and gone off ahead on the bike. It can be useful for that!!!

Weather is take it or leave it, I have used it on a few occasions and thought it was good but not something I use regularily.

I am one of the squad that would pair their phone up to a older device and use it as a modem for data on my TomTom. I think anybody who has found them doing that before would appreciate a x40.

I do around about 40,000 + in the car and some more on the bikes, maybe another 20,000 so I get my use out of the device and I would recommend anybody doing half what I do in the car to get one. Im a extreme case I guess and I found massive value in my device, im sure somebody doing less miles would still find good value.

The simple way I look at is..... 8 a month to me is a hour of my time, or part of a speeding camera fine, or a fraction of what I pay in fuel. The TomTom saves me time in traffic, fact, the TomTom saves my licence (hopefully), and it seems to have on many occasions now taken me to a cheaper petrol station so seems to be saving me money their too.

Sounds like a no brainer really. Rolling Eyes

I would be lying to say its perfect, im sure there is always room for improvement but this seems to be miles ahead of anything else available to me. I would love to be told otherwise but I did a great deal of searching and this comes out top all the time.


You took the time to write exactly what I have found. It's quite simply the best SatNav available for my purposes. Not perfect, but there is nothing better until the x50 comes out...
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OS: 1392579
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DaveMatthews
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Joined: Dec 25, 2004
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Driving on the M6 today I experienced two major traffic problems, one of which demonstrated where the HD traffic service is great.. but the other exposed one of its major flaws!...

This morning a car overturned, causing following traffic to slow down considerably. TomTom's monitors clearly detected that the average speed of vehicles had dropped and my 940 dutifully reported it to me....

This evening, at around 17:20, there was an announcement on Radio 2 that the southbound exit at Junction 34 had been closed (due to chemical spillage, I think) as was a stretch of the A683, onto which this exit leads. I arrived there about 20 minutes later but no warning had come up on the TomTom...

I think the problem here is that TT primarily rely on monitoring vehicles' speeds but if a road is closed then clearly there are no vehicles on that road that can be monitored. I gues this is why TT have to supplement their information by using other sources such as iTIS/TMC. However - and in fairness to TomTom - when I got home a few minutes later, the problem wasn't being reported on Classic FM transmissions, either.

On the topic of blocked roads, we have a few near my home at the moment due to roadworks but none of them are flagged up on either TomTom or via Classic FM/TMC. So, again, this seems utterly dependant on local authorities actually reporting these "planned outages"....

... Lancaster City Council has a webpage to announce upcoming road closures and we had one closed for an entire week earlier in the month. But the announcement of its closure didn't appear on the website until after it had RE-OPENED. Grrr!

--

Cheers


Dave
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Sat
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Joined: Mar 05, 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I upgraded from a 910 to a 540 for the HD taffic, and in my experience so far I have absolutely no faith in the information provided. For example on 21st Feb I was travelling from east mids to kingston, tomtom warned of severe travel delays, i ignored and found no hold up. This kind of service is based purely on performance, this is not being delivered, will not be subscribing.
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ticex
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Joined: 31/05/2003 18:37:33
Posts: 10
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very interesting to read such conflicting opinions on the quality of the HD traffic info.

Just to give a slightly international perspective to the debate: I was living over in Belgium when TomTom launched the original HD traffic One XL in Holland and as I spent hours each month sitting in Dutch traffic jams I borrowed one from my friend to give a try. I have to say the information in Holland was, in my experience, extremely reliable. Perhaps it will take them a while to iron out the bugs in the UK due to it's much larger geographical area? Interestingly I've heard some very positive reports about the HD service in Germany, apparently it regularly saves a friend of mine over 5 hours in 2 weeks of travel around the highly congested Ruhr valley are of Germany!

However, for me the major killer which completely puts me off buying one of the x40 series is the fact the HD service only works in the country of purchase. While this might not be a major issue for most potential buyers in the UK it completely put me (and many others) off buying one in Holland last year as it's so common to cross the border into highly congested parts of Germany where alternative routes in unfamiliar territory would be especially welcome and short of purchasing a 2nd TomTom Live in Germany there was no option to get this information on the one device. I just wish TomTom would offer the same HD data by subscription over the old GPRS platform via bluetooth. I successfully used my TomTom traffic subscription in several European countries, the UK and even in the USA last year! The only negative was the poor quality of the information which I'd expect to be far better using the HD feeds so I'd gladly pay for this versatile possibility and incur my own negligible data costs. In my opinion this is a far better idea than leaving all the more basic devices behind and losing the potential subscription revenue from such a large user base.
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Andy_P
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Posts: 19991
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveMatthews wrote:

I think the problem here is that TT primarily rely on monitoring vehicles' speeds but if a road is closed then clearly there are no vehicles on that road that can be monitored.


The monitoring of Vodaphone mobiles and Go x40 units is only one source of data they use.
It's very difficult to get precise details, but I suspect it is a very MINOR aspect, compared to the more usual Traffic monitoring sources they use.
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Pritch
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Joined: Feb 28, 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

docdoc wrote:
At busy times there are definitely problems accessing the traffic server and the yellow triangle appears alarmingly more frequently.

Shame - i guess that is the main time when you would need the service!!


I live in Germany and have been considering buying a 740 as my GPRS Traffic / Camera subscription on a 720 runs out soon. The HD subs are about 2x the GPRS, which wouldn't be too bad, but then there is the investment in the device too.

Fact is that while 'ticex' states that the HD service seems better in Germany than in the UK, the GPRS data is also better here than. With a bit of intuition, the GPRS data gets me the length of Germany every few weeks hardly ever hitting unexpected delays - and i can use it abroad too (like at home) Rolling Eyes

Think i'll stick with 720 / GPRS traffic for another year...
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NutSoft
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Joined: Feb 26, 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ticex wrote:
However, for me the major killer which completely puts me off buying one of the x40 series is the fact the HD service only works in the country of purchase. While this might not be a major issue for most potential buyers in the UK it completely put me (and many others) off buying one in Holland last year as it's so common to cross the border into highly congested parts of Germany where alternative routes in unfamiliar territory would be especially welcome and short of purchasing a 2nd TomTom Live in Germany there was no option to get this information on the one device. I just wish TomTom would offer the same HD data by subscription over the old GPRS platform via bluetooth. I successfully used my TomTom traffic subscription in several European countries, the UK and even in the USA last year! The only negative was the poor quality of the information which I'd expect to be far better using the HD feeds so I'd gladly pay for this versatile possibility and incur my own negligible data costs. In my opinion this is a far better idea than leaving all the more basic devices behind and losing the potential subscription revenue from such a large user base.


This hits the nail on the head - TomTom need to enable HD traffic services (LIVE optional) across the whole of the map region, not just in the country of purchase otherwise they'll always have a product that nearly made it. Roaming charges paid up front for the regions of interest surely can only make money?
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ticex
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Joined: 31/05/2003 18:37:33
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pritch you make a very good point...especially in Germany the quality of information the 'normal' GPRS traffic provides is perfectly adequate when used in conjunction with a bit of common sense. I think this has a lot to do with the authorities providing far better feedback regarding the extensive amount of roadworks on the autobahns! Also as far as I know the info comes from the TMC pro service which I think is semi subscription based like trafficmaster in the UK. I used to travel quite a lot in Germany too and like you I have to say the GPRS info combined with one of the ALDI Medion sims for data costing next to nothing served me well. The same can't be said of Belgium or the UK where it sometimes shows the most ridiculous information...the running joke in Belgium was the apparently broken down vehicle that was always causing a 45 min delay 24/7 on the E40 near Leuven for over 8 months! This same information was also being sent out by TMC to the in car navigation systems my colleagues had.

I still think if the HD service does work and it's offered via the old platform in all operational markets it would only serve to increase revenue for the occasional user at home or abroad which covers a huge amount of people without damaging the profit from the heavy user that wants the all-inclusive solution the x40 provides.
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phillevy
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Joined: Mar 01, 2006
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took 20 minutes to "update" on my way in this morning, but on browsing the map there was not a single incident shown. "Yawn" - come on now TomTom how can you expect people to pay for such an erratic service?
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algypan
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Joined: Apr 30, 2006
Posts: 84
Location: Barry South Wales

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about this active mount with built in RDS-TMC Does anyone know if this can be used as an alternative in the UK. when the three month free subsciption runs out. I am sure I saw somewhere that it will not work in the UK which is a pity
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed you can use the RDS-TMC mount in the UK or anywhere in Europe and it will be fine as long as your HD subscription has expired, the mount will not work to receive data in the USA though - Mike
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