The TomTom Go 930 and Go 730 GPS devices boast more accurate travel time calculations and voice-recognition software for greater safety while driving.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

April 11, 2008

3 Min Read

TomTom on Friday said two new models of its TomTom Go in-car navigation device are set to arrive at retailers starting April 27. Improvements in the devices include more accurate calculations of driving times.

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The TomTom Go 930 includes improved calculations of travel time and voice recognition for inputting destinations.

The TomTom Go 930, which comes preinstalled with maps of the United States, Canada, and Western and Central Europe, has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $499.95, and the Go 730, which includes maps of the United States and Canada, has an MSRP of $449.95.

Key new features in the devices include calculation of travel times based on the average speeds on a road at a particular time of day, rather than the more typical method of using posted speed limits. TomTom devices, which use a satellite-based global positioning system to provide driving instructions, gather speed and time information while in use. Customers are given the option to upload that data anonymously to TomTom.

TomTom devices plug into a PC's USB port and communicate with the company through its TomTom Home software, which can be downloaded from the company's Web site. The software makes it possible for customers to download maps and software updates for their Go devices, and also opt-in to share data with the manufacturer.

Other new features include the ability to notify drivers in advance about which lane they should be on as they approach an interchange. "You won't find yourself zipping past the exit you're supposed to take," VP of marketing Tom Murray told InformationWeek.

A third key feature in the new devices is voice-recognition software that enables drivers to tell the device the address and city of a location they wish to drive to. This method is much safer than inputting the information manually while driving, a practice TomTom doesn't recommend, Murray said.

In December, TomTom added a feature to TomTom Home that made it possible for customers to find a business address on Google's mapping service and then use its "send to GPS" option to send the information to the TomTom application, so it can be downloaded to the manufacturer's device.

TomTom, one of the world's largest makers of navigation systems, announced plans last year to buy digital data map provider Tele Atlas for $4.2 billion. The move followed Nokia's purchase of Tele Atlas rival Navteq for $8.1 billion. TomTom's major competitor is Garmin.

TomTom's planned Tele Atlas acquisition, however, hit a roadblock on Friday when the manufacturer declined to make concessions to satisfy European Union antitrust regulators, Bloomberg reported. Tele Atlas stock plummeted a record 13% on Euronext following the announcement.

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