Innovative TomTom Go GPS reveals the future for car navigation devices
Frankly, the past year in the portable GPS world has been a bit dull. A market once known for innovation has grown stale, thanks to attention focused on smart phone navigation, but that is about to change. The latest promising new advance comes from TomTom, with its upcoming Go line.
For the first time in ages, TomTom is redesigning its interface, controls, and maps, giving the new uplevel Go line a much different, fresher appearance. Previously, TomTom lacked the design panache of its key rivals, both on the dashtop and in phones. Beneath the surface is TomTom’s new NavKit platform, which will be used for all future TomTom products and licensed to partners including automakers, meaning it may soon be coming to a car near you.
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These Go devices use high-resolution, touch-capacitive screens that should make the more-sophisticated graphics and controls come alive. Drivers will be able to pinch and zoom the map screen, just like on a smart phone or tablet. Tapping a location on the map can set that spot as a new destination. Go will be offered in 4.3-, 5-, and 6-inch configurations, suiting diverse user needs and vehicle space availability.
Following a trend seen with other nav solutions—such as those from Garmin, Google, and the upcoming Telenav Scout app—Go will provide 3D renderings of buildings in cities and major landmarks. The maps can be user configured, with options for changing colors, texture, and road width. Map Share will allow free daily map updates from the user community, with adjustments such as blocked roads or revised speed limits.
The Go devices will include lifetime traffic. Like the speed camera service, the data is delivered either via Bluetooth from smart phone or through a version of the Go with built-in connectivity.
The units will also include a three-month trial of a service that can warn of speed cameras. Because this alert depends on data from a cellular network, drivers will need to be mindful of their signal strength to avoid being caught unaware.
On sale dates haven’t been released. No doubt these will be on the market before the holiday season begins in early fall and possibly before then.