FEATURE REQUEST: INCREASE TRAFFIC HORIZON TO COVER THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE JOURNEY (PLEASE VOTE)
Quite some time ago, TomTom reduced this horizon down to around 100km, completely hobbling the device for anything other than short trips. Rumour has it this was originally done because their servers could not handle the traffic during a snow storm back in 2010, and they never recovered. They cynic in me says this was part of their plan to introduce SIM cards and unlimited traffic data in later units - and to keep a lid on the data costs agreed with Vodafone.
The reduced horizon adds, for myself at least, around 1-1.5 hours journey time over a 800km trip (one I have done many times). It also leads to many more last minute re-routing changes which now need to be larger (as opposed to being smaller if they had been made earlier on in the journey). The small traffic horizon also creates a funnelling effect around the jam periphery - there are more motorists more densely packed around a smaller periphery that suddenly need re-routing, than if they had all be individually re-routed just a bit earlier on in their journeys; this often results in an 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' experience as too many people take the same last minute re-route on the periphery of the jam, creating more jams on the re-routes themselves.
The reduced traffic horizon makes it feel how driving used to be many many years ago - unpleasant and very frustrating. Which was never the case after TomTom first introduced HD Traffic with an unlimited traffic horizon.
There are some (possible?) solutions available to TomTom if their servers cant handle it or the SIM data costs are too high:
- Only allow unlimited traffic horizon when TomTom is connected to a phone via bluetooth (it can then use the phones data plan)
- Charge users an additional fee to access the unlimited traffic horizon
- Just take the hit and give your users the best traffic solution there is and make the unlimited horizon available to everyone with a software update.
Personally I’d be happy with any of the options above, the advantage of a larger horizon is so significant; though I can imagine a lot of upset customers with the first two options.
In this day and age, there isn’t much to differentiate one Satnav from the other. But a decent Traffic service is the real killer (for me its almost the only thing I look at) - get this right, and many other little things will be forgiven if, ultimately, your customers arrive at their destinations as fast as possible and with the least frustration.
So, if like me, you would like TomTom to reintroduce the Unlimited Traffic Horizon, please vote with the little thumbs-up button below and maybe we can all start to enjoy driving just a little bit more again.