One year after launching their HD Traffic Live service in South Africa, TomTom held an event at the Crowne Plaza in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on 3 June 2011, to talk about the success of the service in SA.
Daan Henderickx, Country Manager for Southern Africa at TomTom, explained how TomTom used South Afirca as a testing ground for their HD Live service, opting to partner with local company Tracker, rather than mobile networks as is the case in Europe.
Hendrickx explained that although the sources of Data numbered 150,000 for the South African market, compared to 18 million in the European market, the quality of the data obtained from Tracker resulted in more accurate results. As a result, TomTom’s release of HD Traffic in Australia will follow the South African model of using vehicle tracking companies, rather than mobile networks.
Some interesting statistics were presented at the event:
- 78% of drivers are stuck in severe traffic each day
- 40% of drivers are late for work
- 75% of drivers experience high stress due to traffic
- 342000 people are late for/cancel meetings
Sales of HD Traffic units have increased from 10% of total sales to 40% in one year.
Danny Grobben, head of licence brands for TomTom, compared the Southern African map coverage TomTom provides to their closest competitior, Garmin. While Garmin have nearly 660,000kms of roads and 198,000 points of interest available to their customers, TomTom provides 1,783,000kms of roads and close to 550,000 points of interest.
Active Mapshare, a feature on TomTom devices where users can report incorrect or updated route and map information yielded yet more interesting information in it’s first year of use.
- There were 57,000 user update reports in South Africa
- As well as 10,000 updates for the rest of Africa
- 50% of all South African reports came from Gauteng
TomTom were also quick to introduce some new features at the event.
HD Traffic is now available for TomTom’s iPhone application
There is now a route planning feature that allows users to insert a time they want to arrive at a certain location. The HD Traffic device will then analyse the routes and provide you with the route that allows you to arrive at the location at that time, as well as a suggest leave time.
There is now also an online widget for quick traffic information. TomTom have aimed this at websites that can embed the information, giving users the ability to plan their routes ahead of time.
New Renault cars will also use TomTom LiveHD as their integrated Sat-Nav, connecting to the Traffic HD network.
Plans for the future
TomTom are looking at expanding into the automotive market, and have been in discussion with car manufacturers in Europe, who have expressed interest in integrated HD Traffic units.
TomTom also wants radio stations to use their live traffic media portal to update listeners and increase HD Traffic live exposure.
TomTom have also entered into talks with SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency Limited) to allow both companies to share information for mutual benefit.