TomTom adds traffic alerts for New Zealand

TomTom's Go Live 1000 and 1050 GPS units offer real time traffic updates.
TomTom's Go Live 1000 and 1050 GPS units offer real time traffic updates.

TomTom has lifted its sat-nav game with a traffic info system for New Zealand.

In a first for the Asia-Pacific region - a growth area for the Dutch company - real-time traffic feeds will be available to buyers of two new high-end devices.

Local GPS pioneers Navman have had the jump on TomTom in this area with their units carrying AA Traffic alerts for just over a year.

The TomTom Go Live 1000 and flagship 1050 World (which ships with maps for NZ, Australia, Europe and the US) are the only devices in the company's range that will use this system.

AA alerts are teamed with real-time data from other TomTom units, under the name HD Traffic.

Pricing for the high-end GPS units is yet to be announced, and a release date has only been given as 'late October'.

A year-long subscription to the traffic service - fed by Vodafone's GPRS cell network - will be bundled with the units.

It will need to be renewed annually.

TomTom's Chris Kearney says the new units will also include 'Safety Camera' - actually 'Speed Camera' - which lets users share locations of cameras.

A quick test of the devices showed that the new capacitive five-inch touch screen used on the Go Live models provided a far quicker response - vital when you're trying to drive and navigate - and made the sat nav units particularly easy to use, even when keeping track of alerts as they appeared.

Getting a GPS location was also very fast, with it only taking 20-30 seconds to pick up signal.

Aside from the Go Live models, there are other additions to the range, including an update to the entry-level Start model, now the Start 10, and a higher-spec wide-screen model called Via.

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