Disclosure: Sponsored post
The combination of being a busy mom driving my kids around with visiting clients and going to press events in San Francisco mean that I spend lots of time driving in my car. When I drive across town with all of the traffic in Silicon Valley it can sometimes take as long as it does to drive to San Francisco (one hour)! With traffic it can be even a much longer commute (2 hours or more). Additional traffic challenges can happen due to holiday traffic, like the rush to head to the beach, parks or vacation areas this weekend for July 4th. The map apps on my phone don’t always work and at times have caused me major traffic issues. When TomTom (innovators in navigation technology) contacted me to about the new TomTom GO 500 Portable Vehicle GPS, I was excited to not only give it a try but also learn more from their press information.
First I set out to learn more about the TomTom GO Portable GPS Device from the press documentation:
“TomTom GO Portable Vehicle GPS has been redesigned with real time TomTom Traffic, alternate routes pinpoint exactly where delays start and end so you know fastest route, 3D Maps that show building, Speak & Go to control device with your voice, and landmarks and interactive maps that allow you to zoom in and out to explore the map with your fingertips. TomTom has one of the world’s largest databases, covering 99.9% of the roads, with real-time traffic intelligence with the most up-to-date, accurate information on traffic anytime, anywhere so you can truly get to your destination faster. Routes can be planned ahead with the new MyDrive technology to be ready to hit the road as soon as she gets in the car. The TomTom Go is the only navigation device which allows you to start navigating in two taps and has “Jam Ahead” warning for traffic incidents”.
Then I wanted to learn how it works:
“TomTom Traffic crowd-sources real time data from over 150 million vehicles and devices in the US. Their process combines community probe data with many other trusted sources to create accurate traffic data. This data can pinpoint where delays start and end, how long delays will last and how fast traffic is moving. TomTom chooses the fastest route through traffic because it knows the traffic conditions on all roads. Every pixel of the screen is utilized to provide rich map that distinguishes between primary, secondary and tertiary roads. Every icon on the map is interactive”
The TomTom GO 500 has GPS receiver chips that looks for satellites in the air. Once it finds 4 satellites it triangulates the location. The TomTom comes with preloaded maps that has details such as speed limits etc and Route IQ that incorporates historical data. If you are driving in an area that does not have cellular service, TomTom can still give you directions because it uses satellite information and the downloaded maps that are updated 4 times a year. All of the GO products include lifetime map updates. The downloaded maps, combined with the real time map updates from the TomTom MyDrive app, provide fully accurate traffic information. The MyDrive app is available on iOS and Android.
The press release also shared what’s new and the features of the TomTom Go 500 (or 600):
- Lifetime “real-time” TomTom Traffic (Click here to view TomTom’s live traffic portal)
- 3D Maps
- Pinch to Zoom Interactive Map
- Tap & Go to instantly get a route
- Quick search to find destinations
- My Places to see your favorite locations on the map
- Route Bar for essential traffic and travel information
- Speak & Go to control device with sound of your voice.
- 5” (GO 500) or 6” (GO 600) Capacitive Touch Screen
- Pre-installed with map of US, CAN & MEX
- Lifetime map updates
- Free daily map changes from the TomTom map share community
- Advanced Lane Guidance
- Spoken Street Names
- Click & Go Mount
- IQ Routes
- Quick GPSfix
In the box with either the TomTom GO 500 or 600 is click & go mount, adhesive disk, car charger, USB cable for computer and quick start guide.
The screen has a Route Bar on both sides which shows lots of information in one place. The Route Bar shows estimated time of arrival, distance to destination, delay in current route, upcoming speed limits, road work, speed camera alert, traffic on route and speed and distance to next event. The screen also shows parking with “P” icon. When in San Francisco and busy areas, showing parking on the map is essential for finding parking near destinations. There are even notifications about speed limits and when you are going over them.
There is a free TomTom GO MyDrive mobile app – connects to smartphone via bluetooth. Note: your smartphone must be compatible, and include a data plan. Extra costs may apply. For more information, visit TomTom.com/Connect.
When you first turn on the device it will ask you if you want to set up MyDrive. To do that you plug the TomTom GO it into your computer. MyDrive checks server then downloads maps through Internet to PC and then to device. When you get into your car the first time (before you start driving), just turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone (set to discoverability). Then log into the MyDrive app with the same credentials you use for online.
From your computer you can type address on MyDrive and it will send to your device which connects to phone and syncs up to cloud platform. The cloud sync also takes all favorite addresses and backs them up. If you had to reset device you have favorites online.
The 500/600 has microphone and voice control (Speak & Go). You can speak an address (such as “Go Home” and even set your own wakeup word out of the box (Hello Tom Tom, Go home”). Voice commands can also change brightness, settings and wakeup words.
The voice prompts provides audio reminders when close to exiting such as “exit in 2 miles, get in right lane”. If you have multiple turns in a row the voice prompt will keep speaking to you “say right” “stay left” – both visually and audio. Backroads are different – it depends on class on the road. Another key feature is that you can use your phone and still get voice navigation. If you have a conference call then you won’t need to worry about navigation speaking over the call.
TomTom shared information to confirm how much parents drive their kids around: “A 2013 study said that the average mom drives her children around for 1,248 miles per year, or the equivalent of two weeks “. Saving any time on the road is an important issue!
How much time do you spend on the road and what would you do with the time you would have not stuck in traffic? Do you live in the any of the Top Most Congested Areas below? Sadly, I live in the second most congested city area (San Francisco Bay Area)! Share your thoughts for a chance to win a TomTom GO 500/600. To win, enter below on Rafflecopter. Contest will run from July 1, 3pm PST to July 6, 3pm PST.
*Giveaway is over and winner has been notified.
TOP MOST CONGESTED CITIES
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New York
- San Jose
- Washington, DC
- Portland, Washington
Disclosure: Sponsored post. Products were supplied for review purposes.