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Best GPS for dealing with traffic?

efranzen 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
Who has the best system of routing around traffic at the moment? I've got an older Garmin 765T with lifetime traffic. It works pretty well in the Seattle area on the main freeways but isn't much use on the lesser highways or side roads. It doesn't cover Highway 99 and the Viaduct for example though.

Are the newer traffic systems from Garmin (traffic trends & 3D traffic) and TomTom (IQ Routes & HD Traffic) much of an improvement? Are they really able to determine where backups might be on arterials vs just the main highways?

Of the 2, which is the better system in general, or Seattle specifically.

The models I'm sort of considering are the Garmin 3490LMT (any others offer all the traffic options?) or the TomTom Go Live 1535M/2535M.

Thanks!

Comments

  • you can visit tt site and view HD traffic. unless you are willing to pay after the free 2 year sub is up I preferre to just drive and go.
  • mvl 191 Points
    In general, the HD traffic on Tomtom "LIVE" models is regarded as heads and shoulders above any other brand regarding traffic accuracy.

    I've found it has 95%+ accuracy with traffic reports in pretty much any road in a city (even teeny weeny sidestreets).

    It's been 6+ months since I've used Garmin or Google traffic, but at the time they didn't come close to Tomtom accuracy, and Tomtom has continued to improve on their accuracy every couple months.

    HD traffic is an expensive system ($60/year subscription). But it saves me 20%-50% of my time in daily Boston driving, and opens up new cities to travel (eg: I can drive from Boston to DC in half a day, knowing I won't be stuck in NYC or Baltimore traffic). So it's well worth every penny.
  • I ended up going with the TomTom Go Live 2535M. It is 30% off right now from Amazon so a great savings. I really prefer the Garmin interface more, but right now, traffic and accurate travel times are honestly the most important features I'm looking for. Hopefully it's accurate enough to make me happy. I'm really going to miss the multiple destination routes of the Garmin.
  • mvl 191 Points
    I'm really going to miss the multiple destination routes of the Garmin.
    The GO LIVE 2535M allows 3 waypoints in a route. So it can do minor multi-destination routing.

    If you don't need the device to sort for you, one workaround I do is do a "drive to" for each of the destinations on my route. Then I just do a "drive to recent destination" and pick them from the list.
  • Subscribing to this thread because I am also interested on the best GPS that will auto re-route around traffic and not only on major highways. I am located in Bergen County, NJ.
  • efranzen 0 Points
    edited November 2011
    Looks like the Tomtom isn't any better for my needs than my Garmin was.

    I drove home from work today for the first time with the Tomtom. I drive through Seattle and it has 2 major North-South routes. Interstate 5 and Highway 99 (Alaskan Way Viaduct). Both the Garmin and Tomtom show traffic on I-5. The Garmin does not show traffic on Hwy 99 and apparently neither does the Tomtom. But as usual, I spent 20 minutes driving at less than 5 mph and the Tomtom still showed a clear route. The IQ Route also said something about no delays being expected, but the traffic I drove in is part of my typical commute.

    I was hoping that IQ Routes/HD Traffic would do a better job of dealing with the traffic reality. But apparently technology still needs to advance before that happens, at least in the Seattle area.

    -- edit --

    Here's how my evening commute is, and how worthless estimated arrival times and routing are without showing traffic on Highway 99. My route is 15 miles and takes about 25 minutes on days with no traffic. But on days with traffic, it takes 45 to 50 minutes. So basically the commute time doubles. But because the Garmin, and apparently the Tomtom too, always thinks 99 is clear, it always routes me that direction. I-5 almost always has traffic too, so it never routes that way. But sometimes traffic on I-5 is less than Hwy 99. Without accurate traffic routing I don't know which is better, and you can't move from one to the other once you've committed to a route.
  • I just received the tomtom 2535m tonight. I have 30 days to try it out. The only reason I bought is for the traffic feature. I'll report back after a couple weeks.
  • mvl 191 Points
    I was hoping that IQ Routes/HD Traffic would do a better job of dealing with the traffic reality. But apparently technology still needs to advance before that happens, at least in the Seattle area.
    Tomtom's don't show traffic alerts visually if the traffic is typical for that time of day. It's commuter view (see below):
    http://www.gpsreview.net/painting-traffic/

    Did the Tomtom ETA change as you were stuck in traffic? If it didn't then it already knew about the traffic, but there wasn't any faster way around it. By the way, in traffic settings, you should have "always switch to that route" set up in replanning settings.
  • I was hoping that IQ Routes/HD Traffic would do a better job of dealing with the traffic reality. But apparently technology still needs to advance before that happens, at least in the Seattle area.


    Did the Tomtom ETA change as you were stuck in traffic? If it didn't then it already knew about the traffic, but there wasn't any faster way around it. By the way, in traffic settings, you should have "always switch to that route" set up in replanning settings.
    Yes, the ETA was changing as I was stuck in traffic. It originally said I would arrive home at 3:55 pm, which is correct if there is no traffic. It still said that ETA when I hit the area where the traffic came to a complete standstill. As I was going along at 5 mph or less, the ETA kept changing, but it still didn't show any traffic in the area. By the time I made it through the congested zone I had an ETA of 4:19 pm.

    I had changed the setting to "always switch to that route" under the traffic settings before I started my route.
  • mvl 191 Points
    I was hoping that IQ Routes/HD Traffic would do a better job of dealing with the traffic reality. But apparently technology still needs to advance before that happens, at least in the Seattle area.


    Did the Tomtom ETA change as you were stuck in traffic? If it didn't then it already knew about the traffic, but there wasn't any faster way around it. By the way, in traffic settings, you should have "always switch to that route" set up in replanning settings.


    Yes, the ETA was changing as I was stuck in traffic. It originally said I would arrive home at 3:55 pm, which is correct if there is no traffic. It still said that ETA when I hit the area where the traffic came to a complete standstill. As I was going along at 5 mph or less, the ETA kept changing, but it still didn't show any traffic in the area. By the time I made it through the congested zone I had an ETA of 4:19 pm.

    I had changed the setting to "always switch to that route" under the traffic settings before I started my route.
    Yup, so you hit an instance where Tomtom didn't have enough traffic probes to know about the jam. If the delay isn't typical for that time of day, another HD Traffic customer (PND, TomtomWORK, or Tomtom iPhone) needs to have hit the jam before you did for Tomtom to know about the delay. I've you're in a city with low Tomtom market share you'll be more likely to get misses.

    One more thing that should help - make sure you plug into a computer and update to the latest maps on the device. Each map adds more historical traffic information, the latest is version 880.
  • Thanks for the help you've provided MVL.

    Are you familiar with how the TrafficTrends and 3D traffic systems work on the Garmin units? My Garmin is an older one before they had those systems.
  • mvl 191 Points
    I'd have to defer to others to be sure, but my limited understanding of Garmin is that Traffictrends is like IQroutes and 3D traffic is like HD Traffic.

    However, Traffictrends is much newer and therefore has far less history than IQroutes, so I don't think the data is as good. I tried Traffictrends a year ago in its infancy and it was terrible, but it may have improved since.

    3D Traffic adds the same concepts of predictive and realtime traffic to the equation, just like Tomtom HD Traffic. The question is how many probes Garmin has and how good the predictive modeling is. General consensus is that Tomtom is far superior at this point in time in major cities, but things may change as Garmin's technology matures.

    I'm curious about the location you are having issues with, do you remember approximate start/end crossstreets, and were you heading north or south?

  • I'm curious about the location you are having issues with, do you remember approximate start/end crossstreets, and were you heading north or south?
    If you go to the Tomtom Live Traffic website and select route planner, put in From: Fremont, WA and To: Burien, WA. I typically head south around 3:30 pm or 4:00 pm.

    The area of typical congestion on Hwy 99 (also called Aurora Ave and Alaskan Way Via) is between Denny Way (runs East/West) and S Spokane St (runs East/West).

    And again like yesterday, the Tomtom did not show any congestion here but it was once again at a near standstill. If I know ahead of time it is congested, a few blocks before Denny Way (at Mercer St) I can cut across to I-5 and take that southbound. Once past that area you can't cut across to I-5 because it's an elevated roadway, so it's a point of no return.
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