GPS navigators routing around traffic is common in Europe and North America and, finally, it's going to hit the big time in Australia too.
GPS navigators routing around traffic has been a common sight in Europe and North America for a while now. And, come the end of July, it's going to hit the big time in Australia too.
Traffic messaging + high oil prices = hopefully less of this
Yesterday's TomTom product launch revealed not just a new range of portable GPS devices but, also, the launch of Suna's traffic messaging network in Sydney and Brisbane in the "fourth week of July". Traffic messaging has been available in Melbourne since late last year.
Sensor pads and signalling information supplied by road authorities, such as VicRoads and NSW RTA, are modelled and collated with other sources of traffic information by Suna, who then broadcasts incidents and delays in digital "messages" via FM radio. Drivers with a GPS device equipped with a TMC (traffic message channel) antenna and an appropriate subscription will be alerted to traffic incidents along their chosen route. If the user so desires, an alternative route can be taken around the delay.
From late July TomTom will market an AU$150 traffic antenna for its TMC-ready devices, such as the new fourth-generation One, second-gen XL, Go 720 and Go 930 lines. While AU$150 for an antenna may seem a bit stiff that price includes a lifetime Suna subscription. Prospective XL and Go 720 buyers can get the antenna and Suna subscription bundled with those devices for just AU$100 extra.
Mio currently offers an AU$149 TMC antenna, with subscription, for its C320 and C520 units. Users of the C720t, which has a traffic antenna built-in, need to purchase the AU$129 lifetime Suna subscription directly from Mio Australia.
Are you a Melburnian with a TMC-enabled GPS? Does it work? Does it suck? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.