Newbie Traffic Questions

Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
81
Location
Truro, UK
TomTom Model(s)
iPhone app on 3GS for Western Europe
I've used a Tom Tom One for years, but recently I've put Tom Tom onto my iPhone and subscribed to Live Traffic.

1 I got advised of a traffic problem 150 miles ahead, and accepted an alternative route starting 70 miles ahead (ie about one hour's journey). If the original traffic problem cleared up within that hour, would Tom Tom tell me?

2 If not, what is the easiest way of checking the diversion is still the best route?

3 Is Tom Tom using the speed and location of individual users to gain its traffic information? I twice noticed that as I slowed down into congested motorway traffic, within a few minutes the display changed from clear to congested.

4 This would appear to be an ideal way of gathering traffic information, but is it done anonymously? I'd hate to have my journeys recorded in an MI5/CIA database!
 
I've used a Tom Tom One for years, but recently I've put Tom Tom onto my iPhone and subscribed to Live Traffic.

1 I got advised of a traffic problem 150 miles ahead, and accepted an alternative route starting 70 miles ahead (ie about one hour's journey). If the original traffic problem cleared up within that hour, would Tom Tom tell me?

It does this on LIVE traffic and antenna traffic for the PNDs. It does not do this on PND PLUS/bluetooth traffic. My guess is that, since LIVE and antenna traffic are newer, then the iPhone would follow the similar methodology and tell you that traffic cleared up.

2 If not, what is the easiest way of checking the diversion is still the best route?

On PNDs with PLUS traffic, I navigate to recent destination, and re-pick the current destination from the top of the list. This forces a reevaluation of traffic.

3 Is Tom Tom using the speed and location of individual users to gain its traffic information? I twice noticed that as I slowed down into congested motorway traffic, within a few minutes the display changed from clear to congested.

In the USA, LIVE traffic uses commercial fleets that have signed up with Inrix and Trafficcast to supply speeds, and it also uses speeds of 740LIVE and 340LIVE customers. I've never heard Tomtom mention if it uses iPhone user's speeds, but your experience seems to say it does. Also, I know the kinds of neighborhoods where you would expect high iPhone usage in Boston (affluent neighborhoods and younger neighborhoods), and the traffic seems to be better in those locations. So there's more evidence that iPhone speeds are being uploaded.

4 This would appear to be an ideal way of gathering traffic information, but is it done anonymously? I'd hate to have my journeys recorded in an MI5/CIA database!

On PND's Tomtoms ask if you are willing to share anonymous information on your driving. I assume that is the release to provide this traffic feed. I'm not sure if an equivalent request is made or agreed upon in the TOS of the iPhone app.
 
In the USA, LIVE traffic uses commercial fleets that have signed up with Inrix and Trafficcast to supply speeds, and it also uses speeds of 740LIVE and 340LIVE customers. I've never heard Tomtom mention if it uses iPhone user's speeds, but your experience seems to say it does. Also, I know the kinds of neighborhoods where you would expect high iPhone usage in Boston (affluent neighborhoods and younger neighborhoods), and the traffic seems to be better in those locations. So there's more evidence that iPhone speeds are being uploaded.

Hi MVL,

I have a question for you.

I thought the way the LIVE traffic is calculated in the UK depended on mobile phone users - especially Vodafone users - who are travelling along the same section of the road - irrespective of phone models or brands.

But you seem to be suggesting that it depended mainly on 740 LIVE and 340 LIVE customers that are using the same section of the road.

I am a bit confused!
 
I thought the way the LIVE traffic is calculated in the UK depended on mobile phone users - especially Vodafone users - who are travelling along the same section of the road - irrespective of phone models or brands.

You are correct.

What I was describing in my prior post was the USA system. This system is branded as Tomtom LIVE Traffic, which is the best consumer traffic system in the USA, but nowhere near as good as the European Tomtom system. That's why Tomtom goes out of their way to not brand the service "HD Traffic" in the USA.

HD traffic is the system used in Europe. With European HD traffic, Tomtom uses all the sources as the USA (different vendors, but they serve the same function). But on top of that, they add the speeds of every Vodafone cellphone subscriber in each HD traffic country. This addition of cell data makes HD Traffic by far the most accurate traffic system in the world.

We keep begging for Tomtom to release HD traffic in the USA, but so far our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.


Also, South Africa has service branded as "HD Traffic". But instead of cell phones, Tomtom partnered with a leading stolen vehicle tracking/recovery service, to obtain speeds. That stolen vehicle service is installed in 6% of all South Africa vehicles, so it should also be pretty good data.
 

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