Traffic and Routing Issues

Discussion in 'TomTom Services' started by neags23, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. neags23

    neags23

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    So when I found out that TMC traffic on my Garmin c550 is really bad, I bought the Go 720 to try out the TomTom Plus Traffic.

    So I go to buy it last night and it only gives me Europe Traffic. I searched everywhere about this problem and couldn't find anything.

    I called support this morning (zero hold times, very very nice) and talked to a few different people and was told I had to buy traffic for The Netherlands. ....um, I live in a Chicago suburb. They told me that traffic for the US just recently was being sold and you have to purchase the European Traffic for $54.95. But I read on these forums that there's a US Traffic subscription for $24.95.

    But the support people said I had to go with the European. So I started to buy it, and it asked what country I'd be using it most in. The Netherlands wasn't even an option!

    I called back and finally the nice lady gave me a 90 day trial of traffic. So I was a happy customer. Not sure how that's going to go in 90 days if I want to renew, though...

    So I head to work this morning, and it wants me to go through the city to get to a northern suburb. Which would be fine except the traffic would beridiculous to try to get through. Does it not initially route you based on traffic? (Yes the traffic update circle was all green)

    I ignored it and took the toll-way around the city. I get off at my exit and my place of employment is two left turns from the off-ramp... about two miles away. My shiny new TomTom wanted me to take a right off the ramp, go 7 miles completely around and come in from the right. That made NO sense.

    I ignored it again, and as I got closer to work, it wanted me to take a U-turn and go completely around. I turned onto the 4 lane road my building is on, and it wants me take another U-turn even though my building is within sight in front of me, about 200 yards away. It was directing me to turn around, get back on the expressway, go another exit down, get off and come in from the right, so my building would be on the right side. What??? I'm 200 yards away! Why would I get back on the expressway? It was like it couldn't see the road I was on that took me right to the building.

    I got in the parking lot and asked how it would take me home. It said the route would include tolls (rightfully so) and if I wanted to avoid them. I said no, and it routed me... but it took all side streets! For 30 miles! Without tolls, I might add. Why did it ask about tolls if it didn't even take me on tolls?

    I made sure the settings were for fastest route, there was no traffic in that direction... I just don't understand. Is there some firmware update I shouldn't have gotten (I updated through TomTome Home last night)? This is awful. Strongly thinking about going back to the Garmin.... :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  2. neags23

    Smokiewolf

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    If you already know the best route to work, why were you using your Tom Tom? :confused:
     
    Smokiewolf, Mar 19, 2008
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  3. neags23

    neags23

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    I use it for traffic and re-routing through traffic. I'm not using it because I don't know how to get to work, but if it has routing problems like that, who knows what it will do if I'm going somewhere I don't know how to get.

    And using it for traffic and getting around traffic is useless if it takes goofy routes.
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  4. neags23

    Smokiewolf

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    I think it will be a while before that system is really useful. It all depends what agencies are putting in data into the system, and right now there aren't many entities using it with accurate, up to the minute data. I think when there is an increased demand for it, it will get better and more accurate.
    Woohoo! Expert!
     
    Smokiewolf, Mar 19, 2008
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  5. neags23

    neags23

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    That's okay, I'm not expecting perfection.

    However, this has nothing to do with the routing issue or the fact they wanted me to buy European Traffic....
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  6. neags23

    dhn Moderator

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    The problem is that too many TomTom customer support people simply don't know what they're talking about . Some callers get lucky; some don't.

    What you're doing, coming to a forum like this and seeking information is a smart move on your part. Then, at least, if you need to call TT Support, you may have a wealth of background info to guide you as to when you're being given silly instructions (such as you got) vs. accurate instructions that make sense to try.
     
    dhn, Mar 19, 2008
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  7. neags23

    neags23

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    Glad I made the smart move... care to share any of that wealth of background info or accurate instructions regarding my aforementioned problems? :D
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  8. neags23

    Smokiewolf

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    There's nothing wrong with your 720, you're not missing anything that's causing the routing discrepancies. In your area, that's the route that looks like the fastest to it.
     
    Smokiewolf, Mar 19, 2008
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  9. neags23

    Sextant

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    Keep in mind:

    GPS units don't know where traffic lights and stop signs are. They don't know where traffic normally bottles up. They don't know that one untraveled road is faster than the usual way. It doesn't know that at certain times of day certain roads are worse than others.

    All the GPS unit is doing to connecting the dots and there are map errors and routing logic errors that cause it to connect the dots incorrectly.

    There is NOTHING out there right now in the way of GPS that will route as well as the human brain. If you know where you are going you will automatically consider the million different factors between the different routes and pick the best one.

    I am a police officer and I use the TomTom every day at work. It's great for helping me maintain situational awareness of where I am. If I get a call in a neighborhood I'm unfamiliar with I'll use the TT. Almost every single time I know the best way to get into that neighborhood and the TT is waaaaay off. I use it at the end to indicate to me which way my final turn is or where a house is in the block of traffic. The whole way there though the TT is way off.

    If I was completely lost in a different city and didn't know my way around the area the TT would get me there. It may not be pretty but I'll get there. That's the point of these things. I guarantee that you'll almost always pick better routes than ANY GPS device in areas you know.

    I don't use the traffic, it's not available or necessary here. But it is also dependent on the information being submitted into it. Garbage in, garbage out. If it isn't working as well as you thought, discontinue after your 90 days and wait a couple years to try again.
     
    Sextant, Mar 19, 2008
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  10. neags23

    neags23

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    I think you guys are missing the point... I understand no GPS is going to be 100% accurate. That's fine. But if I can actually see the building that's 200 yards in front of me, yet the GPS tells me to make a U-Turn, take two turns to get back on the expressway, drive 2 miles to the next exit, and come around to the other side of the building... there's no way there's nothing wrong with the routing algorithm.

    I could maybe see this being a mapping issue rather than a routing issue, but how can that be corrected?
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  11. neags23

    dhn Moderator

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    There is a documented bug in TT's routing algorithm which causes it to really HATE the allowing of left hand turns. It is a hit and miss situation when this occurs.
     
    dhn, Mar 19, 2008
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  12. neags23

    Sextant

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    That's an example of how these things aren't perfect. Proves the point I was making. It could be the map, it could be the routing algorithm, it could be both.
     
    Sextant, Mar 19, 2008
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  13. neags23

    neags23

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    Ahhh, see, this is the kind of info I'm looking for. So, there's no known fix or workaround?
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  14. neags23

    dhn Moderator

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    Again, local knowledge trumps information from a GPS, any GPS. Not much of an answer, but the best I have at the moment ... :eek:
     
    dhn, Mar 19, 2008
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  15. neags23

    Sextant

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    If you have a newer unit with Mapshare you can report a map error and detail the problem there. Somebody will eventually check it out and hopefully correct it.
     
    Sextant, Mar 19, 2008
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  16. neags23

    neags23

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    That's fine for when I have local knowledge... but now I'm nervous about using it to go unfamiliar places... I'm sure it'll get me there sooner or later (with this problem, emphasis on the later), but so will using a paper map, and I didn't spend $300 on a folded map in my glove box. :)
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  17. neags23

    neags23

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    I think I'll try this out. Hopefully it's a map issue that can be corrected.
     
    neags23, Mar 19, 2008
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  18. neags23

    Sextant

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    For long road trips I carefully plan the trip in Google and use TYRE to create and download the itinerary. I love this because it warns of upcoming exits. If I miss something it gets me back on track. We'll often get off an exit to find a place to eat and the TT is great getting us back on track. This is much better than using paper maps.

    In strange towns we are unfamiliar with it's great finding restaurants and other destinations. It may be a little off sometimes but I've rarely encountered severe errors like what you are talking about with going to work. It's always gotten me where I want to go along a reasonable route. I do take my laptop and stay at Wi-Fi enabled places so that I can use Google Earth and TYRE if I need to.
     
    Sextant, Mar 19, 2008
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  19. neags23

    Smokiewolf

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    I agree 100% I always hated having to print directions from a map site, and try to look at them while driving, and trying to figure out what your next turn is, yecch. LOVE being redirected after a wrong turn. I'd say that's the biggest plus. If you are using paper, you could make a wrong turn and not know it for a long, long time.
     
    Smokiewolf, Mar 19, 2008
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  20. neags23

    Bama Rambler

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    Mine does the same thing. It does seem to have an aversion to left hand turns. Maybe because overseas they don't have any left hand turns. I don't know??? Anyway, when it does a route like that I just hit reroute and it has always made a better route. I do believe that if we complain enough about it they (TomTom) will put resources into correcting it.
     
    Bama Rambler, Mar 19, 2008
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