TomTom GO Discover Traffic - Can Somebody Help?

TonyS
TonyS Registered Users Posts: 58
Renowned Trailblazer
Many drivers including me often travel on familiar roads and routes. When these roads are clear we do not need navigational help. Even so, a TomTom with a traffic service can offer valuable assistance, providing information about congestion or blockages ahead and to help with potentially useful diversions. Thus, the traffic service is fundamental to TomTom and other navigation devices and frequently of more obvious value than navigational assistance. As it happens my car, which is a Honda Jazz hybrid, has a built in Garmin navigation system. This works well so far as it goes, but since Honda make no provision for connecting it to the Garmin traffic service it is of limited value. Hence my purchase of a new TomTom GO Discover with Traffic.

To date I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to get the traffic service on my GO Discover to work reliably, but so far without success. Please help.

It seems to work perfectly while I am at home and the device is connected to my home wi-fi.

The problems arise when I am driving and the device is ostensibly connected to the TomTom traffic service via my mobile phone, a relatively new Samsung S20 FE 5G running the latest version of Android.

The mobile phone is paired to my GO Discover using Bluetooth, and additionally to both my car and a dashcam. Bluetooth tethering is turned on and the mobile phone connects to the GO Discover as soon as it is switched on. The mobile phone is also set up as a wi-fi Mobile Hotspot and is set up never to disconnect (at the expense of about 40% additional battery drain overnight).

So far as I can tell, the Bluetooth connection and tethering work as advertised, but the wi-fi Mobile Hotspot repeatedly turns itself off despite being set up never to do so. I am assuming there is a conflict somewhere causing this to happen, and that is why the TomTom traffic service is lost. Resetting the Mobile Hotspot would seem to restart the traffic service, but not reliably or for very long.

In the car, the phone is also connected via a USB cable to Android Auto to provide access to a variety of things including my music collection, my mobile telephone and Google maps (where the map displays are poor, but the traffic does always work seamlessly). Interestingly, I can also get the TomTom GO mobile phone app displayed on the head unit of my car using Android Auto, and traffic information is always available there. Doing that then precludes me from using the head unit to display anything else, but that is not TomTom’s problem.

When starting a journey, it is not always immediately apparent whether the TomTom GO Discover traffic services are working as, after all, even in the UK the local roads are sometimes clear. The first indication that traffic is not working is often running into congestion, which by then is already too late. Once it has become apparent that the traffic service is not working or has stopped working, the temporary solution seems to be to reset the Mobile Hotspot on my phone. Inconveniently, that requires stopping the car. More than that, it also means disconnecting the mobile phone from Android Auto first, as that does not allow changes to the mobile while it is connected.

Can somebody tell me:

The TomTom manual and various forum discussions have not made it clear whether both the wi-fi Mobile Hotspot and Bluetooth tethering need to be on for TomTom traffic to work. Can one work without the other, if so which, or are both required?

What might be causing the Mobile Hotspot to turn itself off, even though it is set up never to disconnect?

Keeping the Mobile Hotspot on permanently is a severe drain on my mobile phone’s battery. Is it necessary to set up the hotspot never to disconnect, or should it be enough to simply reset the hotspot before driving in the expectation that its being in use should keep it connected?

I have read in Forum discussions that Bluetooth data can only work on one device at a time. Does that mean that TomTom traffic will not work reliably while Bluetooth is also connected to my car and my dashcam?

While I am driving my car it is connected via USB to Android Auto. I want to use Android Auto, but is that preventing TomTom traffic from working reliably?

I have the TomTom GO app on my mobile phone. Is simultaneously providing the traffic service to this in some way interfering with the TomTom GO Discover traffic service? Does having a traffic service on one preclude providing it at the same time to the other?

In sum, the traffic service on my TomTom GO Discover is patchy and troublesome, to the extent that I am inclined to stop using the device altogether. By comparison, my previous TomTom GO 1005 and GO 6200 both received traffic information direct and on both these devices traffic worked seamlessly and well without the complications and limitations of a mobile phone connection. Why on earth, TomTom, when it wasn’t broken did you try to fix it?

Can someone help me resolve my problems with my GO Discover with its unreliable TomTom traffic connection?

Answers

  • big
    big Posts: 1,719
    Superuser
    Lots of questions there. Let's see...
    1. The hotspot connection need only be bluetooth. Wifi will drain the battery more quickly and potentially use more data.
    2. In many phones mobile hotspot automatically turns off if it is unused for a period of time. This feature can be disabled in the Mobile Hotspot settings on your phone (Advanced settings: Turn off hotspot automatically)
    3. Bluetooth can support multiple connections simultaneously but not of the same type. So you can have a headset and a data connection, for example. But if you have 2 data connections at the same time only one will work.
    4. The older built-in SIM models are being deprecated because carriers are shutting down 2G service so they worked in fewer and fewer places. There was a plan to introduce models with built-in LTE service but that is no longer the case, supposedly due to supply issues. (Personally, I think if that was the issue I think they would have delayed it, not canceled it.)
  • TonyS
    TonyS Registered Users Posts: 58
    Renowned Trailblazer
    Hi Big.

    Thanks for trying to help.

    I can understand the rationale for stopping the built-in SIM in the latest devices.
    Unfortunately, that does not help me get the Traffic service to work on my GO Discover. Despite my best efforts, I still cannot get it to work reliably once I move out of range of my home Wi-Fi connection.

    As I understand it, a Mobile Hotspot is a way of providing a Wi-Fi signal from a mobile phone to another device such as my GO Discover. The Wi-Fi is received to the mobile phone using a mobile data connection and is then forwarded to the GO Discover as a Wi-Fi connection using Bluetooth tethering. Does that mean that the mobile phone Wi-Fi connection is irrelevant, or can it or must it be turned off in order for Bluetooth tethering to work?

    While I am driving, my mobile phone is connected to the car using a USB cable to provide access to Android Auto and for making calls, searching contacts, etc. It is also connected using Bluetooth to the Honda + app which monitors the health and various other functions in the car. Do you think that the connection to the Honda + app is in some way precluding or disrupting the Bluetooth tethering to my GO Discover?

    For the moment, I have given up on the GO Discover and refitted my GO 6200 in the car. It works. It also has the added advantage that I can use my existing folders of personal POIs, which I was disgusted to find are not available to me using the GO Discover.

    I hope it is not the case, but it seems to me that the GO Discover is forcing me to choose between its traffic service or any of the many other services available on my mobile phone. Apart from that lovely big screen, the GO Discover seems to be a retrograde step compared to the GO 6200 or even my clunky old GO 1005.

    Tony Stephens
  • big
    big Posts: 1,719
    Superuser
    Hi Tony,

    The Discover can connect to the mobile hotspot via bluetooth or via WiFi. Bluetooth is preferred because it is a much lighter protocol but if both Bluetooth and WiFi are available Wifi will take precedence. So to answer your question, Bluetooth alone without WiFi is fine.

    I do think the Honda+ app may be interfering. Personally I think such apps might be useful with occasional temporary connections if at all (I disable my similar app) -- to me there is little point in keeping them active other than to give Honda marketing data but that's just my perspective and I definitely would respect yours. But as an experiment, would you consider temporarily un-pairing your phone from the Honda+ app to see if that makes a difference? You can pair it back after the experiment and we will learn valuable data. You might also consider totally deleting the pairing to Honda+ before adding it back. Sometimes the order of pairing makes a difference.

    I don't believe Android Auto is interfering because it is cable connected.
  • TonyS
    TonyS Registered Users Posts: 58
    Renowned Trailblazer
    Hi Big,

    Thanks for another very helpful reply.

    You did well to unscramble my paragraph trying to explain my understanding of how a mobile phone utilises a Mobile Hotspot to provide a connection to another device such as my GO Discover using Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth tethering. In trying to explain myself I was conflating Wi-Fi with the internet. I do understand that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are just different ways of forwarding a signal, which in turn can provide access to the internet. Congratulations, and thanks for not calling me on my poor description!

    I will disable the Honda+ app and unpair my phone from it and see if that makes a difference.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Tony Stephens