According to TomTom, Navigation is number four on the list of things people want in their new car, behind air conditioning, audio player and cruise control. With the introduction of the GO x40 LIVE range, we’re sure that it is going to go to the top of the list. It’s certainly top of ours.
The latest range has become fully connected, thanks to an integrated SIM-card that gives it the ability to receive information in realtime (as long as you stay in the UK, as the SIM-card is not set up for roaming). The first three months are completely free, but if you wish to continue beyond that it will cost you £7.99 per month.
So what exactly are the extra services you get for the money?
Firstly, there’s the new HD traffic service that can give more detailed information than relying on the old-fashioned sources, like TrafficMaster sensors and information provided by the Highways Agency.
HD Traffic works by looking at where selected mobile phone users are and analysing their movements. If there are a lot of users stuck on a particular road, it can presume that there’s traffic. It also means any road can be monitored, rather than just motorways, A-roads and other major trunk roads.
The other big addition is Road Angel data for accident blackspot locations and safety cameras, including fixed and mobile sites. With the realtime connectivity, you can receive live updates on which mobile sites are active at any time and submit new locations with ease.
It doesn’t end there, with the ability to do a search for Points of Interest over the Internet, using Local Search with Google. You can search for an individual establishment, or give general search terms like ‘Best restaurant in WC2’. It makes the pre-installed PoI’s seem somewhat pointless.
Saving money is always a good thing, so being able to see regularly updated fuel prices in your local area is another big feature. You can look for places near you, or on your current route. TomTom has even gone one step further with a ‘save now, save later’ promotion – giving ongoing fuel savings with the service, combined with a fuel card that gives you actual free fuel, to the value of £30-50 (depending on the model you purchase).
Other services which are already available on other models when hooked up to a mobile phone, include weather reports, buddies – where you can share your location with other TomTom users, downloadable voices, themes, car icons and voice control. The Advanced Lane Guidance feature, which shows an on-screen representation of the road with the lane you need to be in clearly marked has also been optimised.
Every model is also Bluetooth enabled, so you can use the device as a handsfree. Text messages are also read out, although for safety reasons you cannot reply.
The new models are aimed at high mileage and daily drivers, which explains why they have higher than normal retail prices that start from £300 for the GO 540 LIVE – with UK and Ireland maps, £350 for the GO 740 LIVE – with UK and Europe maps, to £450 for the GO 950 LIVE – with UK, Europe, north America and Canada maps). These prices might seem high, but TomTom is keen to stress how much money can be saved – from lower fuel bills and less points on your licence, to less stress by arriving at your destination on time.
MORE INFO: WWW.TOMTOM.COM