Now on my second Garmin. Just purchased the 255w and live in a rural area where there is no opportunity to check the usefullness of the FM traffic feature. would love to hear from experienced users concerning reliability, availability, ease of use.
Ditto. I have to drive about 125 miles to reach one of my state's two FM traffic areas, so don't get too much use out of it. Luckily, I bought the GTM-20 receiver inexpensively on eBay and waited to buy until FM traffic offered a lifetime subscription.
I will say that on my occasional trips to Phoenix AZ, I do see traffic situations being reported which is a good sign. I have yet to be on a route with upcoming traffic issues to see how my nuvi responds....
I live in a small town, have yet to go on a trip to a large city, would like to see how it works.
There is not service locally for me, but when I travel to the DFW area and the road is red on the display it is time to think about finding dinner someplace until it clears. On a recent trip to Colorado, I was considering driving west on I-70 from Denver. The nuvi was telling me there was going to be a 54 minute delay getting to the Eisenhower Tunnel. As I got near the ramp to get on 70 it had gone up to 74 minutes and there was bumper to bumper as far as you could see and it was going slower than I could walk! I decided to go the next day.
I've been happy with it and waited as CraigW did to get the GTM-20 when the price dropped and offered lifetime at no extra charge. There will be times when you come onto a delay that is not yet in the system and likewise see one reported that is already clear.
and homes in both the Phoenix and Las Vegas areas. I have received warnings for traffic accidents ahead, for slow traffic and for flash flood warnings from the NWS.
I really use the traffic feature and have stopped relying upon the reports issued by Sirius radio. The 780 announces "slow traffic ahead in "X" miles." It also shows a caution sign with the number of minutes delay expected. Once announced or posted on the screen you can research further to see exactly what the incident might be and are given the option to avoid whatever might be ahead.
Real easy to use. Intuitive almost and for the most part reliable. I really put my NUVI to good use and enjoy having the traffic reports at hand.
The reliability and availability are really going to depend on where you live / drive. My 760 uses Clear Channel's Total Traffic http://totaltraffic.com/ and it is reliable when it is working, which is only during rush hour Mon-Fri. Outside of that it has limited availability. I find the website was pretty reliable on its coverage area.
As far as ease of use, very easy. A little construction looking sign pops up in my lower right corner telling me a traffic delay in minutes. I can click on it for more detail, and choose to avoid.
If you have your Garmin set to avoid, when in calculates your route it will automatically avoid traffic.
In Chicago, IL area, where I travel most it's so so useful. It shows only traffic on interstates, so other roads it is just a guess. And sometimes traffic info is not updated on time (usually after main rush hour), so it may show that some stretch of the road is loaded with cars when in reality it is moving without any delay.
But on the other hand it is rather reliable during most of traffic hours, and basically when it says that you can expect traffic it is really happening.
So I would say: useful with limitations.
I live in the DC area, and the coverage is pretty good. It has helped out many times giving locations and times of delays. It's not perfect - you still need to use some local knowledge to interpret what it is saying.
I really use the traffic feature and have stopped relying upon the reports issued by Sirius radio.
I used to subscribe to the XM TRaffic and found it pretty much useless and a waste of money.
So far, I have much better luck with the FM Traffic
and the MSN traffic.
It's pretty good, the problem is the potential for accuracy and timeliness is so high that it's shortcomings glare a little larger than they really are.
The fact that the reports are accurate, fairly timely but with a small lag (minutes) and that the GPS will take it into consideration and route around it are powerful pluses. It will just keep getting better as more state highway departments embed monitors in the roadways and providers sweep the reports faster.
Eventually, soon, one would expect to see perfectly real time reports updated continuously. For now, this beats anything else hands down.
I notice a huge difference in quality of the reporting depending on what area I was in. LA had awesome accurate timely updates but the Hampton Roads area is hardly ever correct. I suspect its the reporting of the data and not the Nuvi/FM delivery method.
I have not found the traffic to be particularly useful. Refer to my more detailed post at http://www.poi-factory.com/node/24731
downtown Hartford two nights ago with my 760. It gave me no warning at any time about traffic issues.
Is the reporting turned off at night ?
Mine works at night as well.
It seems that I've been lucky, based on the rest of the input in this thread. I get warnings on a regular basis. I wonder if it is becasue the coverage is still mainly on big roads. I'm usually on them, and the information I get is pretty accurate. Does anybody get information on any other roads?
Recently, we drove from Winston-Salem, NC to Charlotte, NC to take our son to the airport. The traffic alert started out showing 9 min. Eventually, it showed a delay of 27 min. Showed some mild backups as yellow, then almost full backups as red. When we got to the actual backup, it was exactly as shown. On the ohter hand, there have been false alarms, and no alerms. It showed a backup one time that totallynever happened. Another time, there was a traffic jam, but no alert. I would still say, even a less than great traffic alert is better than no alert.
WORKS GREAT IN DALLAS, AUSTIN, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO AND SUCH AS I TRAVEL BACK AND FORTH TO THESE PLACES 5 DAYS A WEEK.
IF YOU TRAVEL A MUST .... GARMIN 780
Yeah, I was on the road last night in Boston and it certainly was reporting traffic issues when you looked at the regional view.
When I had that issue on Tuesday evening, I was sitting on I84 (with a lot of other people) and there were no reports or advisories to be seen.
I used my 765T in an area with traffic coverage for the second time yesterday (Birmingham, AL). The first time I used it, I got inaccurate traffic reporting in Memphis. Yesterday, the information in Birmingham, was absolutely accurate. Unfortunately, I took a detour around the problem on Interstate 65 and after a couple of miles, it appeared that a large number of other people had the same idea. I guess there's no way to avoid traffic problems in Birmingham between 7:00 and 8:30 am.
You need to check the traffic provider. I use Clear Channels Total Traffic http://totaltraffic.com/ and they state weekday rush hours for traffic service availability. I do sometimes get reports outside of this, but it isn't as reliable.
I have the lifetime upgrade and find it very useful here in the Big (un)Easy. But once you are alerted to a traffic problem you should then ascertain which alternative (if any) would provide a faster route. Sometimes it is quicker just to creep along the current route. At least you are forwarned.
and find it somewhat useful. My biggest issue with it, as I have noted in other threads, is that it is not "intelligent". If there is any problem on a road going a my direction (ie North on Hwy XX) then it will show a delay EVEN IF my programmed route doesn't include that section. I consider these to be false alarms.
For example, last weekend in St. Louis, the traffic feature knew and automatically re-routed me from a completely closed section of I-40 due to long term construction.
In other cases, including in other cities, I've seen delay warnings where there were none by the time I got to that stretch of road.
Since it came as a feature of my 1490T, I'll put up with its inaccuracies, but I sure wouldn't pay extra--especially by subscription--for it.
traffic takes a little while to a) be noticed b) processed and then c) communicated out to our mobile units
i like how you can see traffic (even on side streets now) on google maps - !!
Traffic is NOT updated 24 hours in many areas - it may just be rush hours for 5 days a week, not including holidays.
For major areas IT IS 24/7. You can look up the details for each metro area on the providers website. (Not Garmin, but the traffic service). I'll try to post the link later...
As I posted in another thread on the subject, my 765T's free traffic is nothing but a novelty here in the mitten. I've had it tell me that there's a major back-up ahead & find nothing but smooth sailing & then there have been many times where I've sat in big jams warmed by the green glow of "no problems" from my nuvi screen.
Hopefully, it will one day be useful here as it is in other parts of the country.
I just bought a 755t and traffic feature (in the DC area) seems to work fine. I'm considering returning the unit because I can't get their web map updater to work and I'm tired of wasting my time on it.
Earl, this topic is about the traffic feature, so you might want to start another thread about your map update problem. That said, are you trying to get your free nuMaps one-time update or are you trying to buy a Garmin map product?
Getting better all the time, not 100% but I wouldn't be without it.
Works well so far...I like the alert and the option to "search" traffic...gives you a list from closests to furthest traffic problems. Also, on the Traffic Map, it show which side of the road the traffic is on, which is very helpful. It helped me travel from Montgomery County to Annapolis on Saturday during terrible traffic.
My wife just returned from a trip to Pittsburgh and said that the GPS kept repeating "traffic ahead" during rush hour. She said that it was "obvious" that there was traffic and that she finally had to mute it. The reminder frequency should be adjustable.
I've not had that, and I see traffic all the time. I wonder if the unit is performing correctly?
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