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Clear Channel vs Navteq: real life traffic results

There's a general buzz here about Clear Channel (TTN) traffic being better than Navteq (NT) traffic, with SergZak's excellent sticky

http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/12438/x/p1/

providing some great info on how the systems work, and one reception in his area. I've scattered my experiences in a few threads. I'd like to gather the highlights of that here, focusing on how useful/accurate the traffic reports were. Hopefully others will add to this thread, generating a respository of experiences, at least answering the question "So how does it work in my area?"

My use has been the I-95 corridor between Northern Virginia and New York City and Connecticut. I have a Delphi NAV200 with lifetime TTN which perfomed well on that route, other than a few dead spots clearly seen in the coverage maps.

I used my new 255WT with Navteq traffic on my annual Christmas trip to Brooklyn, NY and Meriden, CT. Traffic reports were unsatisfactory. It connected with no stations in northern New Jersey. No information about the major crunch on Staten Island. On the Merritt Parkway, it gave random reports about traffic. Actual traffic was alternating between standstill and flowing, but completely out of synch with NT. Checking the GTM screen, no stations were coming in on that stretch of the Merritt.

I upgraded to the $60 TTN. I had a really good first impression when the GTM channel list tended to fill very quickly with 9 TTN channels, usually no NT. I just did a round trip to Brooklyn. As near as I can tell, I received traffic data the whole way, including the supposedly uncovered gaps around Newark, Delaware and central New Jersey.

o In Northern New Jersey, TTN alerted me to the usual jam across Staten Island, but said the Holland Tunnel and lower Manhatten were clear. Don't know what it was like on SI, but the tunnel route was indeed clear. And I'm sure I was receiving data. This was a key area where NT had let me down completely.

o On the return trip, it alerted me to a jam on I-95 in Delaware. I saw the jam as I approached the exit where it began, and successfully rerouted. That's a location that's not supposed to be covered, and where the Delphi usually stopped receiving data.

o It alerted me to 40 minutes worth of delays on the Capital Beltway, I-495. I hit that around 7 pm - latter part of the rush hour, nothing to do but endure. But as the rush hour dissipated and traffic began to flow, the time delay estimate kept going down in lock-step. Projected arrival time also changed in synch, and the final number was accurate to the minute.

The Beltway experience was eerie - traffic updates were real time, as I saw them before my eyes.

Several other moderate traffic alerts (yellow icon, with 1 or 2 minutes displayed) tended to make sense when I got to the alert locations.

For me, the $60 TTN upgrade was worth its weight in gold. NT was, at best, amusing.

Ken
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