TomTom Traffic Vs. Garmin TMC

Discussion in 'TomTom Services' started by lordhamster, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. lordhamster

    lordhamster

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    Well, I had the opportunity to test TomTom Plus Traffic vs my Garmin Nuvi with TMC traffic today side by side. I encountered two instances where TomTom Plus traffic showed a traffic backup on my route. The one area ended up having essentially cleared already, but traffic was dense enough to where I see where had I come a bit earlier It would have been quite slow (as indicated by TomTom). So I'll give it credit for reporting something there, despite the fact the info was expired by the time I got there. The Garmin indicated no problems here.

    The second situation was a construction zone on a state route where the Garmin made no mention at all of any delays, and the TomTom showed me a 15 min delay on the map... this time there actually was a large traffic backup.

    So far its hard for me to say which unit's traffic came out on top, but it seemed like the tomtom had more events in my area (Cleveland)... I'll have to try things out a few more days and report in more detail later.
     
    lordhamster, Apr 11, 2007
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  2. lordhamster

    fanchee

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    Interesting, thanks for the report. I've often wondered how the two stacked up against each other.
     
    fanchee, Apr 11, 2007
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  3. lordhamster

    lordhamster

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    I'm waiting for rush hour today for some more testing, but it seems to be that TomTom and Garmin TMC are showing some different data...

    Anyone know where TomTom gets it's Traffic data?
    Garmin TMC is from Clear Channel I know.....

    Update:

    Today at 17:00 I compared Cleveland's traffic situation with three sources Traffic.com, TomTom, and my Nuvi... while the Garmin was fairly close to what Traffic.com says, there seems to be more information on the TomTom... also, the tomtom shows some traffic where I know from experience there is traffic every day, where the Garmin makes no mention. I have yet to hit a signifcant traffic jam so I can compare the two with an actual eyewitness situation, but I'll update as I learn more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
    lordhamster, Apr 11, 2007
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  4. lordhamster

    Pedro2NR

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    Awesome information
    I would love to hear more.
     
    Pedro2NR, Apr 12, 2007
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  5. lordhamster

    lordhamster

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    Well, I decided to drive out tonight to the scene of some traffic that showed up on my TomTom but not on my garmin.

    Most events tonight were simply construction etc, which show up on both units. Although the data on each "event" seems to be different slightly... roughly the information was the same. I'd be interested in seeing how different things like closed ramps etc.. are handled, but they were too far from me for me to tell.

    Anyway, so I noticed one area on my tomtom really close to me was showing as congested and on the Garmin I've never seen this small highway even show up on the list. The small highway shows up every day in the morning and evening rush hours as congested (due to construction)... which I can confirm.

    Tonight however, Tomtom showed congestion in the northbound lane, and as I drove southbound, I can confirm that there was no congestion there beyond the usual traffic. However, It could be that an older alert had not been cleared yet or whatever....

    The day previous the same are on the TomTom showed congestion and it was dead on... and I know from experience the area can get quite congested.

    However... in this case, the information wasn't quite as up to date as I'd have liked.

    If I see some more serious traffic reported near me over the next few days I'll do my best to get there and see how the two traffic systems compare.

    I can definitely confirm however that the two do not seem to be getting their traffic from the same source... or at the very least it seems that TomTom displays somewhat more detail.

    More to come...
     
    lordhamster, Apr 12, 2007
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  6. lordhamster

    berkisho

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    I would assume TT is getting their traffic from Clearchannel as well since TT is actively working on TMC, but based on your analysis it seems that is not the case...:confused:
     
    berkisho, Apr 12, 2007
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  7. lordhamster

    lordhamster

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    Well I'm not entirely sure... perhaps the volume of data that clearchannel transmits over their RDS system is different than what they provide TomTom... that couldbe also I supose... but from what I'm seeing in Cleveland there are definite differences in what is reported, and also the severity of incidents etc..

    Anyway, this morning I'm listening to traffic on the radio... from a clear channel station actually... WMJI in the Cleveland area.

    They repoted an incident on 271 Northbound... which shows up with an icon and also a length of congested traffic with a delay time shown on the TT... on the Garmin there is no comment about this at all.

    Also, there are only two areas of congestion mentioned on the Garmin incident list but many more on the tomtom... I'll try to get to one of these areas and see if Garmin says anything about it.



    Evening Rush Hour Update:

    I saw an accident on a highway reported on my Garmin while I was playing around... It was only 3.6 KM away so I decided to go check it out. The same accident was reported on the radio about 5 min later... then it showed up on Tomtom about 10 minutes after it had initially shown up on the Garmin. I went to the scene (both units reported a slightly different location) however there was nothing to be seen at either location. The Garmin however was reporting a backup at that stretch of highway when there was none. Tomtom was just reporting an accident Icon but no actual traffic congestion.

    Just obserbing the two units today it seems like incidents are reported earlier on the Garmin TMC, while general congestion seems to be reported earlier and with more detail on the TomTom.

    On TomTom for example, it shows me the length in KM of the congestion + the estimated delay... whereas on the Garmin I only see the backup on the map, with no estimate of how long in KM or in minutes.

    I'm still trying to get some actual situations I can compare. Today it seemed like there were some incidents that the Garmin picked up on that the Tomtom did not, and some congestion the TomTom Reported the Garmin did not.

    without going to each one, I can't judge which is more correct. I'll keep trying.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
    lordhamster, Apr 12, 2007
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  8. lordhamster

    lordhamster

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    Ok, today I had some time around rush hour so I decided to go out and drive the traffic hotspots... here are details of my experience.

    In the Cleveland Area:

    State Route 8:
    TomTom: Shows severe traffic delay of 15 min.
    Garmin: Shows nothing
    Real World: Traffic is backed up about 10 minutes.

    Highway 271 North:
    TomTom: Shows moderate traffic congestion
    Garmin: Shows nothing
    Real world.. dense traffic but moving at speed limit

    Highway 480 West:
    TomTom: Shows traffic but shows traffic ending long before it does
    Garmin: Shows traffic, but shows begin of traffic way after it begins.
    Real world. Traffic Backed up for miles moving slow... Neither unit showed the location of the traffic correctly... but they did show congestion on the correct stretch in the correct direction.

    Highway 77 south:

    TomTom: Shows no traffic backup
    Garmin: Shows moderate traffic backip
    Real World: Traffic is flowing at full speed


    Several hours later all traffic is cleared, but Tomtom shows an exclaimation mark near downtown cleveland Garmin does not. TomTom is showing me a warning about a ball game doing on tonight!!! The tomtom even can warn me to expect congestion for Tonight's Indians game.

    That is pretty darn good if you ask me.

    I think TomTom traffic is more detailed than TMC... although TMC seems to be slightly more dynamic.... on TMC the incidents get posted and removed slightly quicker (for things like accidents), but for traffic backup and coverage area it seems hands down tomTom plus spanks TMC.

    In addition, TomTom gives me estimated delay times which seem to be pretty spot on, while on TMC traffic, in best cases I'm shown congestion on the map, but I have no idea how bad it is as there is no delay time estimate.

    so overall i'd say that for people looking to use GPS to avoid traffic Tomtom seems to beat Garmin.

    #1 The traffic info seems more complete. (TMC... I don't know MSN direct)
    #2 TomTom has better avoid functionality.

    The only downfall is that the TomTom maps are slightly less reliable from what I've seen...
     
    lordhamster, Apr 14, 2007
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  9. lordhamster

    Nextourer

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    wow.. nice to see TT beefed up their Traffic service!

    Thanks for the comparo. Let's hope it's similar in other areas.
     
    Nextourer, Apr 14, 2007
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  10. lordhamster

    Pedro2NR

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    lordhamster, this is great information. Great to see your comparing the two and posting the results.

    Im sure a new user would be interested to see how effective Traffic is.
     
    Pedro2NR, Apr 14, 2007
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