What's new in sat nav systems
If you don’t enjoy getting lost and wasting time you’ll appreciate owning a sat nav! The units themselves have been around for ages now, and you may already have one. However, today’s models boast enhanced functionality and subscription services that are designed to eliminate additional stress from your car journey – so it may be time to upgrade to a new model.
All sat nav units will generally provide a flying interface with an oblique bird's-eye view of the road, as well as a direct-overhead map view. Working out your co-ordinates from GPS, they’ll display your precise location and provide visual and spoken directions on how to drive to your chosen destination.
Lets you pair your compatible mobile phone to make and receive calls through your sat nav’s built-in microphone and speaker, so you can give the road your full attention. The TomTom GO LIVE 825 doubles as a hands free kit so you can make and receive calls as you drive, with just a touch of the screen.
Some units now use Twitter so you can keep your contacts up to date on your destination and arrival time. The TomTom GO LIVE 1005 lets you set your device to send a message automatically if your arrival time changes. So, even your most avid ‘followers’ can stay in the loop!
A subscription service, this warns you about speed cameras, provides weather updates and traffic alerts using the built-in Bluetooth to communicate via your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.
TomTom LIVE Services
Another subscription service. Using a dedicated Vodafone SIM card – so you’re not reliant on having your own Bluetooth-enabled mobile in the car - inside the sat nav, you can receive updates wirelessly including HD Traffic, Safety Alerts, Local Search with Google and Fuel Prices.
HD Traffic gathers data about the conditions ahead from 3rd party sources (induction loops in the roads, cameras and traffic surveillance) and the traffic flow of up to 16.7 million anonymous mobile phone users on the road. And if you grind to a halt because of congestion and the system works out there’s no quicker way of getting to your destination, it’s brutally honest. That’s better for your morale than sitting in a jam with no way of knowing if a clear route is nearby!
Local search with Google lets you quiz the internet for places or businesses more esoteric than the default POIs (points of interest) already built-in to the sat nav.
Garmin nüLink! Services
Somewhere between TomTom Plus and TomTom Live, nüLink! will pull down weather, flight statuses, fuel prices, movie times, traffic and Google-powered local search results via Bluetooth and your compatible mobile.