An in-car GPS device that knows what’s going on around it is the Holy Grail of the GPS world, and this functionality is now available locally. TomTom’s new Go Live range of navigation units are the first with live traffic updates, so they’re able to direct you based on the actual traffic flow between you and your destination.
TomTom’s Go Live 1000 uses a mobile phone network to access ‘HD Traffic’, which draws from data provided by the AA. This data is updated every two minutes and the unit interprets this information to supply the fastest route possible.
The Go Live 1000’s connectivity means that it can also update weather information, fix its satellite lock with extra speed, receive the locations of mobile traffic cameras and can even offer Google searches. The Live Services subscription is free for the first year of ownership, but the ongoing costs haven’t been finalised as yet, so this is something to consider.
This is the first TomTom range to feature a capacitive touchscreen with gesture support and its 4.3-inch screen is excellent, bright and clear with minimal glare-related issues.
There is a new ‘easy click’ magnetic mount and a magnetic cable connection, both of which proved easy to use. The unit also supports Bluetooth hands-free calling, which is enhanced by a good built-in loudspeaker. Yet, the Go Live 1000 still suffers from the slow battery charging and average battery life found in most in-car units.
In addition to Live Services, the device has all of TomTom’s usual features including spoken street names, advanced lane guidance and the clever IQ Routes technology, so it is a comprehensively equipped device.
Bar an occasional inability to connect while in rural areas, the HD Traffic service works well – it is a real treat to be able take a look at your route before you leave. The general navigation and overall ease of use was top class, with only one misrouting incident over the lengthy duration of the test (the unit seemed unable to comprehend that there’s more than one way to get to Tauranga from Auckland).
The Go Live 1000 had one annoying glitch around the spoken street names functionality. Whenever it had to deal with a State Highway, it would mutter some unintelligible nonsense; along the lines of “follow something-something-something-something State Highway Two for three kilometres”. On a long trip, this is hugely frustrating and it isn’t fixed by updating the firmware. TomTom’s technical people have assured me that this is being corrected as a priority.
This is one of the most highly evolved in-car GPS units available today and the HD Traffic system elevates it to a level of virtual artificial intelligence.
It would be a high rating product indeed if not for the average battery life and that silly State Highway bug; hear that 100 times and you’ll be ready to biff the Go Live 1000 out the window but if this is remedied as promised, I’d have no hesitation in recommending this unit.