TomTom is meeting the challenge of location-aware smart phones and free navigation software with a new souped-up sat-nav platform. The Go Live 1000 will be the first to add apps and real-time routes.
The Go Live 1000 packs a 500MHz ARM processor and capacitive touchscreen, boasting a WebKit-based user interface. It includes a SIM-card slot, 4GB of internal storage and 128MB of RAM. It'll be the first in a slew of devices to support third-party apps, downloaded via the Web or over the air via mobile partner Vodafone.
Maps have been updated, with improved graphics to cover more roads and addresses in 45 European countries. The driving interface includes a traffic bar on the right, showing how heavy traffic is ahead of you. A parking-assist feature points out car parks nearby. Real-time petrol prices, services and weather will also be updated by the unit. All this will be free for a year with the Go Live 1000, and less than €50 (£43) a year after that.
TomTom has recently been overtaken on the inside by Nokia Ovi Maps and Google Maps Navigation, offering free turn-by-turn navigation to Nokia and Android smart phone owners. Real-time connectivity, apps and a year's free subscription are TomTom's attempt to catch up.
Built-in features include IQ Routes and HD Traffic, which draw on user data to get you where you're going. IQ Routes draws on TomTom user's speed measurements for specific areas at different times of day, taking you down a longer route if it'll be faster and dodging rush-hour traffic. HD Traffic is a bit bonkers, measuring how fast mobile phones are moving through the Vodafone network to work out what traffic is like. This is done anonymously, with TomTom users also opting in to share their travel details.
The Go Live 1000 hits the road this summer in 33 European countries. Take a drive to our comments to let us know if this news gets your motor running, or if you'll be sticking with your smart phone to reach your destination.
Update: TomTom has told us more about the HD Traffic technology. Data is collected from the SIM cards in TomTom devices and sent to the company's HD Traffic centre. Vodafone also collects data on the speed at which its customers' phones are moving, which is anonymised and passed to TomTom. Invasion of privacy or the Internet of Things in action?