Until now, I never paid much attention to the different companies and providers, but I’ve learned that not all GPS devices are equal. I’ve recently been tempted by the TomTom app for the iPhone, especially in connection with the car kit. Turn-by-turn directions, as well as charging my phone, and playing music through the car’s speakers? Yes, please.
But I don’t just go throwing around $100 at every iPhone app. I figured it was at least worth a little research, and I found that one of TomTom’s special attractors is something they call IQ Routes. In short: they gather anonymous user data to provide:
… the driving experience of millions of TomTom users into your maps, calculating your route based on actual speeds driven on roads compared to speed limits. With TomTom IQ Routes you always get the smartest, most efficient route. Saving you time, fuel and money by driving like a local.
Much the same as GMail’s method of eliminating spam e-mail, TomTom “crowdsources” traffic routes in order to save you time. The good news is that you can try out their route planner for free right now and see if it can shed any light on some of your normal routes.
When I started my new job last November, I spent weeks trying different scenarios to and from work, and thought I had it nailed, so I was shocked when I tried the route planner and found a new way home that saved me 5 minutes.
And as we all know, time is money, and in this case, fuel. Give it a try yourself and let us know in the comments how it works out for you.
Updated December 22, 2011 and originally published September 1, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.