updated 02:25 pm EST, Mon November 12, 2007
TomTom HD Traffic
TomTom on Monday combined technologies with the advent of HD Traffic, an improved version of the traffic status service offered for many of its more advanced GPS units. The service borrows from the technology of assisted GPS from cellphones to provide a much more frequent and accurate position update than would be possible through GPS alone. TomTom units with a GSM modem can now track nearby cars and triangulate the position of the driver accordingly. In the right conditions, HD Traffic provides five times more updates than would be possible before, TomTom claims. The service launches first in the company's home country of the Netherlands in the next few days courtesy of Vodafone and will reach other parts of Europe by early 2008. A North American version is likely but unannounced.
Capitalizing on the announcement, TomTom has also unveiled a new GPS unit built with the feature in mind. The ONE XL HD Traffic is largely identical to the stock version with a 4.3-inch screen but adds a SIM card slot and modem to use the mapping unit with supporting carriers. It will be available at the same time as the HD Traffic service and is priced at 399 Euros ($582) in the Netherlands. Costs in other regions will be announced later.