Garmin sat-nav devices in Australia will now be powered by HERE Traffic, in addition to using our maps.
Jerrold Herrera, product category manager and account manager at Garmin Australia, explains that the country’s traffic is quite different to other countries.
“In Australia, the cities are 800km apart, not 200km like in Europe. This means that most of the traffic is in the cities themselves, rather than on the highways.
“We’re very car-dependent. Public transport isn’t as well established as we’d like, so almost all travel is by car. “And then our road systems are often quite centralised, so a problem at one of the main junctions can have a swift and far-reaching effect across the city.
“This means that fast and accurate traffic notifications are essential for our customers.”
Moving to HERE Traffic means that, as well as the regular FM radio-based RDS traffic information, Garmin devices can access our XML-based traffic feed, when their sat-nav is paired with a smartphone.
The XML feed is considerably more detailed, since the available bandwidth, even over a standard 3G line, is a lot higher than an analogue radio signal can provide. And existing device owners won’t be left out. Every data-ready Garmin device since 2013 will be able to tune into the new service.
“Compared to previously, HERE Traffic provides more coverage outside of the central urban areas.”
“It’s more accurate and more detailed: these were the reasons we chose to use HERE maps in our devices – and the same thing is true for traffic information.”
“And it’s always up-to-date. The traffic status and incident reports are updated once a minute, all day; every day. This is absolutely essential. It gives people enough time to change their plans before they get stuck in a jam.”
With traffic and navigation covered, what’s next for Garmin?
“Our next focus is on driver awareness features. Avoiding traffic is a big part of ensuring driver awareness: roads that are less busy have fewer accidents. But we’re working to add to that with the new Garmin NüviCam – features like a forward facing camera that can detect and alert the driver to an impending collision. We’re adding lane guidance and lane departure warnings.”
A lot of the ADAS features that appear in the latest, high-end cars can actually be added to any car through a Garmin device.
Is a dedicated sat-nav a part of your navigation toolkit? Let us know in the comments section below.