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 |  Feb 10 2012, 12:02 PM

In the near future, your TomTom satnav unit could be snitching on you to your insurance company.

TomTom is teaming up with UK-based insurance firm Motaquote for its first insurance product – a GPS unit called Fair Play that is designed to give safe drivers a lower premium.

Thomas Schmidt, managing director TomTom Business Solutions, says that the company will expand the Fair Play system to other insurance firms in Europe in 2012 in order to draw a larger customer base.

It’s a great product for safe drivers – since they already drive safe, they can use their good habits to secure better premiums. If you’re a bad driver… well, this isn’t the GPS system for you.

According to Schmidt, “Drivers using the insurance product will have a TomTom tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored by insurers and by improving driving style, you can drive down your premiums.” To start up on the plan, you’d have to buy the TomTom tracking kit, but you’d start paying lower premiums right away… as long as you follow the feedback provided by the TomTom tracking device.

The Fair Play TomTom system is only available in Europe right now, but we can only assume that if it’s successful, it will be a matter of time before we can use it here in North America. Would you use this kind of GPS system to lower your insurance rates? Let us know in the comments section below.

[Source: Toronto Star]

 |  Nov 15 2011, 4:00 PM

The latest characters to join TomTom’s growing list of celebrity voices are Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.

Developed with Sesame Workshop and Locutio Voice Technologies, the famous Muppet pair will get you to where you need to go. You and your kids will have blast hto any destination, as Bert and Ernie keep you amused with directions and banter, such as: U-turn ahead, Bert. Just me turn? All of us Bert.”

You can download Bert and Ernie for your TomTom device for $12.95. And be sure to watch the “making of” video after the jump.

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 18 2011, 6:30 PM

Not so long ago, we told you about the special edition satellite navigation device by TomTom which features the voice of the Stig (!) and Jeremy Clarkson, both of TopGear fame.

Now due to a clause found in BBC’s own contact, this device had to be pulled off the shelves. According to the BBC, all its presenters “must take particular care not to endorse any product or service which could be covered in the programmes on which they work.”

Since this TomTom device could have easily been featured in an episode of TopGear, it would breach the contract rules and thus cannot be allowed to be put on sale.

However, the issue only came out after the device had already gone on sale. A reported 54,000 of these TopGear special edition sat nav’s have been sold thus far, however the BBC is not allowed to make any money due to its breach, and thus will have to donate all proceeds from its sale to its charity – BBC Children In Need.

Similarly, TomTom will also make a donation from its profits to a charity of its choice.

Clarkson, who had nothing to do with the brokering of this deal will also make no money from this transaction. However, anyone who currently owns this now very rare TomTom Go Live TopGear Edition, could sell it for a profit.

No word yet if this BBC clause will effect the new Forza4 video game, which also features the voice of Jeremy Clarkson.

[Source: The Guardian]

 |  Oct 08 2011, 12:36 PM

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TomTom is launching a limited edition GO LIVE “Top Gear” edition satnav device, featuring the hit British motoring TV show’s star presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, as well as its resident driving extraordinaire, the Stig.

The new TomTom GO LIVE starts at $269.95 and will include a one year free subscription of HD Traffic, a technology that will prompt traffic updates every two minutes, offer detailed incident reports, the length of delay, as well as accurate travel times and alternate route proposals in order to help commuters combat ever frustrating traffic congestion. Moreover, the limited edition device will offer unique Top Gear selected points of interest including race track and raceway locations related to the series. Jeremy Clarkson, known for his passionate disapproval of speed cameras, will be pleased to know that the GO LIVE will also send nearby speed camera alerts for the driver.

But the best part: Clarkson will be the default navigation voice for TomTom’s new device. However, when switched to Stig Mode, some say the device gets puzzled if the satellite positioning system does not indicate the vehicle is located within the Top Gear test track. All we know is the device instantly turns silent.

GALLERY: TomTom GO LIVE Top Gear Edition

Top-Gear-Image-3_tcm137-20859.pngTop-Gear-Image-4_tcm137-20860.pngTT_VIALIVE135_FRONT-GENERIC_image_tcm137-14537.jpgTT_VIALIVE135_LOGO_L-GENERIC_image_tcm137-14539.jpg

 |  Aug 15 2011, 2:30 PM

Have you ever wondered what stretches of Interstate and other limited-access highways in the U.S. had the longest gaps between exits from the road? Well, TomTom has come up with a list… and you may be surprised which states made the cut.

Florida made it into the top 16 five times, with Pennsylvania coming in second with three. Also dominating this list are the toll roads.

Here are the 16 longest distances between freeway exits in the USA (Asterisk indicates exit gap exists in both directions):

1. Florida 91 (Fla. Turnpike), Exit 193 to Exit 242: 48.9 miles. *
2. Florida 91, Exit 193 to Exit 152: 40.5 miles. *
3. I-80 in Utah, Exit 4 to Exit 41: 37.4 miles. *
4. I-70 East in Pennsylvania, Exit 110 to Exit 146: 35.5 miles.
5. I-75 in Florida, Exit 80 to Exit 49: 30.6 miles. *
6. I-335 in Kansas, Exit 147 to Exit 177: 30.3 miles. *
7. I-90 in Massachusetts, Exit 3 to Exit 2: 29.9 miles. *
8.I-44 West in Oklahoma, Exit 283 to Exit 255: 28.4 miles.
9. I-40 in California, Exit 78 to Exit 50: 28.4 miles. *
10. I-44 East in Oklahoma, Exit 53 to Exit 80: 27.6 miles.
11. I-70 West in Pennsylvania, Exit 146 to Brotherton Rd. Exit: 27.3 miles.
12. I-75 North in Florida, Exit 23 to Exit 49: 26.2 miles.
13. I-70 West in Colorado, Exit 75 to Exit 49: 26 miles.
14. I-75 South in Florida Exit 49 to Exit 23: 25.7 miles.
15. I-76 in Pennsylvania, Exit 226 to Exit 201: 25 miles. *
16. I-80 in Indiana, Exit 144 to Exit 121: 23.8 miles. *

[Source: USA Today]

 |  May 24 2011, 9:25 AM

When it comes to remaining calm in traffic, women tend to have a cooler head than men, according to new research by satnav firm TomTom.

Measuring the rise in stress level in saliva (ew!), British researchers tested volunteers when caught in a traffic jam and found that the levels for women increased by 8.7 percent while stuck behind the wheel. For men, it skyrocketed 60 per cent in the same traffic scenario.

An interesting finding of the study was that most participants reported they didn’t feel stressed, even though the results showed they were. About two thirds of the women and half (50 per cent) of men reported not feeling any stress after 20 minutes in heavy traffic, but the results showed differently.

This mean that if you get stuck in traffic during the daily commute to work, you could be stressing out your health and not even know it. And according to health psychologist David Moxon, this could lead to erratic driving. In response to our ‘fight or flight’ response, men tend to sit and fume while stuck in traffic, while women cope better with the pressure.

A global survey of 10,000 drivers for TomTom showed 72 per cent drove on a daily basis and 86 per cent felt traffic had a negative impact on their lives.

So how people amuse themselves in traffic? In Britain, 77 percent listen to music, 23 percent sing, 16 percent make phone calls, 20 percent eat/drink and 3 percent smoke.

What do you do to stay calm in congestion? Share your tips in the comments section below.

 |  Apr 27 2011, 1:09 PM

Did you make a wrong turn? D-oh! Now that Homer will be your navigator, thanks to the new TomTom GPS iPhone app, you’ll never get lost on your way to pick up donuts again (woo hoo!).

Homer Simpson, aka Dan Castellaneta, of The Simpsons fame, is the new voice of this TomTom app that’s available for download for $5.99 – that’s more than the price of a dozen donuts (mmmmmmmm, donuts!). You’ll need the 1.7 version on the TomTom app, and that will cost you $49.99 to get it installed.

“Homer’s skills will help keep drivers and fans entertained in a light-hearted and familiar way. It’s exciting to have him onboard!” said Alain Pakiry, senior vice president of marketing at TomTom.

If you live in the following countries, you can download the Homer Simpson voice for the TomTom App now: U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, and Sweden.

[Source: Cnet]

 |  Sep 14 2010, 9:09 PM

One of the downsides of winter (What? There’s a down side?) has to do with driving and your GPS device. If you own one, you know what we’re talking about – you have to take off your gloves in order to work your unit. Well, thanks to TomTom and its new European-market GO Live 1000 series, this problem may be a thing of the past.

Giving you the advantages of multitouch and requiring less pressing force to register an input, the GO Live 1000 is outfitted with a new “Fluid Touch” interface. This handy feature makes the most of its capacitive screen in order to make maps and menus easier to navigate. It also makes it possible to install functionality enhancing applications – and who doesn’t love a great app?

The 1000 unit will also be able to connect to TomTom’s Live data service and will give users access to HD Traffic updates, weather forecasts, speed and traffic camera locations, flight information, and Google Local Search. With the purchase price comes one year of the TomTom Live service.

Coming soon is the TomTom GO Live 1005 model, which will features a larger 5-inch display. Both GPS units come equipped with a new suction cup mount and a magnetic cradle. This lets you place and remove the device with one hand.

The bad news is that the TomTom GO Live 1000 and 1005 have only been officially announced for the European market. But like most TomTom units that started out on the other side of the pond, we’re sure that these new models will make the jump to North America soon (fingers crossed that we see them before the winter).

[Source: Cnet]