TomTom broadens appeal with free traffic service

TomTom has ported its highly-accurate traffic information to the web, providing a new service for drivers who want to check how difficult their journey will be before they leave.

TomTom Live Traffic is a new web service that uses information collected by thousands of the firm's satellite navigation devices to plot traffic jams in real time in 18 countries.

It shows the location of gridlocks in multiple European countries, South Africa and New Zealand, including a length and expected delay for drivers, with clusters of jams displayed on the map and a left bar with more details about each problem spot.

A TomTom spokesperson said that the map is "the perfect starting point for anyone planning a journey."

The level of detail offered in cities is likely to please European drivers, who have been able to use Google Maps' traffic services for some time, but only for major routes.

TomTom says that its information, updated every two minutes, is "unmatched," reaching beyond the primary and secondary roads and down to a city street level.

It's able to do this thanks to the data collected by its HD Traffic in-car navigation devices, which send GPS location information with speed and movement data over the mobile network to TomTom, which can then collate the information to plot traffic jam locations.

With TomTom's cheapest Europe-wide HD Traffic device, the Via LIVE 120, priced at €229.95 (£199 in the UK), the fact that the new web service is free could help the brand to find a legion of new, time-efficient, driving fans.

http://www.tomtom.com/livetraffic

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