LAS VEGAS--TomTom has just expanded its flagship Go series of portable navigation devices with the addition of the new Go 2505 M Live, which adds TomTom's Live connectivity suite and is the first unit in TomTom's lineup to feature the HD Traffic service.
As a Go series device, the Go 2505 M Live features the same hardware as the previously reviewed (and quite similarly named) Go 2505 TM, including a 5-inch, glass, capacitive touch screen with multitouch capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, and a metal-backed chassis that attaches to its windshield mount with magnets. The unit also features TomTom's new WebKit-based software with voice recognition and faster routing and processing.
Where the 2505 Live model differs is the inclusion of a GSM data connection powered by AT&T that enables TomTom's Live service. We've seen this service in action before in the 2009 Editors' Choice winner--the TomTom Go 740 Live--adding Local Search by Google, fuel prices, and weather forecasts to the navigation toolbox. However, this time around, TomTom has a new trick up its sleeve: HD Traffic.
TomTom's HD Traffic service has been running over the past year in the European market, but the Go 2505 M Live will be the first consumer product available in North America to feature the service, so we're excited to see it in action. The Go 2505 M Live gets its HD Traffic stream from the Internet using the Live data service, which means that TomTom's new service should provide faster and more frequent updates than the relatively slow-to-update RDS-TMC FM band utilized by most traffic services for data transmission. However, that's the beginning of the differences. Standard traffic flow data is polled by road sensors and traffic camera services and is usually only available on major highways. TomTom's HD Traffic system takes a three-pronged approach, taking advantage of road sensor data, IQ Routes time-based predictive traffic flow data generated anonymously by the millions of TomTom device and app users, and real time traffic data generated by users and fleets equipped with connected TomTom and Tele Atlas devices. All of this data is blended using a proprietary algorithm at TomTom's traffic center to create what TomTom calls the most up-to-the-minute and accurate view of what's happening on the road. Additionally, because TomTom isn't relying solely on highway road sensors, the HD Traffic service should also provide flow data for surface roads and city streets--roadways previously neglected by most traffic services.
The TomTom Go Live will be available in mid-2011 at an MSRP of $349, which includes a trial subscription of the TomTom Live service with HD Traffic.