Getting from points alpha to bravo is cool. Getting there without going through a mind-numbing traffic jam is just the cat's pajamas!
These days, any old portable navigation device can accomplish the former, but the best differentiate themselves with their almost omniscient awareness of the roads between where you are and where you're going. A good traffic monitoring system can not only save you time, but can also help save you money at the pump and reduce your environmental impact by reducing the amount of fuel wasted idling.
With that in mind, I've rounded up a selection of the portable navigation devices with the best implementation of traffic data and avoidance technology, and even a few quirkier implementations of the tech below for your perusal.
TomTom's HD Traffic service is arguably one of the best in the business, but the 1535M doesn't stop there. This PND can also automatically notify your friends and family of your estimated arrival time via Facebook and Twitter.
Garmin Nuvi 2495 LMT
Many Garmin Nuvi devices bearing the "T" suffix offer free traffic updates for the lifetime of the unit. Garmin manages this by subsidizing the traffic service with unobtrusive text ads and offers. Read the full review.
Garmin Nuvi 3490 LMT
In the case of Garmin's Prestige series of Nuvi navigators--to which the 3490 belongs--Lifetime Traffic refers to what Garmin calls 3D Traffic Digital, which enables it to receive traffic updates every 30 seconds (versus the 5- to 15-minute intervals of standard Garmin devices). Read the full review.
This PND has a unique trick to beat the traffic. The 3065 Commuter wakes itself up prior to your preset commute times to download its RDS-TMC traffic data and automatically calculate the fastest route to work in the morning and home in the afternoon.
Compare these navigation devices head to head.