Question. I was thinking about upgrading my 3490 (which I still love due to its size) for a Drive 55. When I went to CES, the resolution appeared to be the best with that model. Anyway, the website indicates that this unit comes with a •Traffic receiver/vehicle power cable but it does not indicate which one. Under accessories, it lists both cables as being compatible. So the questions are:
1) What is the difference between these two cables?
2) Which one does this unit come with?
3) Can I still use the Garmin Drive App for other services like weather, etc. if I am using traffic from the cable? I can only assume that you cannot have traffic supplied from both the cable and app at the same time but wondering if using the cable knocks out all the other services provided on the Garmin app.
Thanks in advance.
My guess is that the Drive 55 comes with the GTM 36 cable for two reasons: 1) the Drive series is the basic low-end series of Drive models [Drive, DriveSmart, etc.] and most likely uses the basic FM traffic; and 2) if HD traffic were provided with the GTM 60 cable, it'd be mentioned as a feature. For the 36 to receive traffic, a local FM broadcast station needs to provide FM traffic. For the 60 to work, there needs to be a local FM station broadcasting in HD that also offers HD traffic. Either should work for you in NYC but for instance, in AZ, either traffic system will only receive traffic data within the Greater Phoenix and Tucson areas leaving a vast majority of the state without traffic.
The Garmin Smartphone app is an all or nothing app. If the smartphone app is linked to the Drive, then the Drive ceases to receive traffic from the traffic cable. On the other hand, the app will most likely provide much better traffic info than either the GTM 36 or 60.
Yeah it's the Drivesmart 55. I don't think there are any other auto navigators that are NOT the low-end series these days. My 3490LMT was a high end model for its time I believe and it did come with the GTM 60 HD cable. Wondering if the GTM 60 is backward compatible to non HD stations. I would assume so.
As for the app, that's pretty limited. Amazing that you cannot have the app running while still using the cable for traffic only. You'd think they have an option screen to select traffic from the cable or app while the app is running but I guess not. However, looking further into this, if I was in a remote area, I'd have no FM stations to receive traffic or even a cell phone signal to receive info via the app. On the other hand, if I was that remote, there would probably be no traffic at all. Lol!
The GTM60 cable is not backward compatible with all traffic capable devices. Here is the Compatibility List:
And if you check the GTM 36 at Garmin it also shows the DriveSmart 55 as being compatable.
So, as the OP asks, which one comes with the unit he's looking at?
As CraigW indicated and according to the overview shown on Garmin's DriveSmart 55 page (https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/666927), the included traffic service is "Garmin Traffic", not "HD Digital Traffic". So I would think it is the GTM-36 (or comparable) receiver that comes with the device and not the GTM-60.
Garmin has three different levels of live traffic. From worst to best coverage: Garmin Traffic, HD Digital Traffic and Live Traffic.
HD Digital Traffic covers a few more areas than Garmin Traffic and provides faster responses. It also includes some basic weather information.
Live Traffic (through the Garmin Drive app) is MUCH wider coverage than HD Digital Traffic, and it includes advanced weather plus weather radar capability.
The DriveSmart 55 and DriveSmart 65 come with two ways to receive traffic built-in: HD Digital Traffic embedded in the receiver, plus the ability to pair with a smartphone and receive Live Traffic through the Garmin Drive app.
The Garmin Drive app is the best coverage, but it depends on cell phone signals. The HD Digital Traffic is done through HD Radio, so it depends on AM or FM radio station reception to work.
The HD Digital Traffic reception in the DriveSmart 55MT or DriveSmart 65MT is built-in to the GPS unit itself. It does not require an accessory traffic cable. It only requires the TA20 vehicle power cable that comes with it. This means that you don't need to drape your power cable to enhance coverage from the HD radio stations nearby; the signal is received directly through the GPS.
One can use a GTM36 or GTM60 cable with the DriveSmart 55 or 65, but there is no advantage.
As far as using the Drive app, this provides the best coverage through HERE WeGo maps, plus better weather plus weather radar (VERY cool feature) and when the app is connected, the DriveSmart 55 or 65 receives Live Traffic only through the app.
The HD Digital Traffic reception in the DriveSmart 55MT or DriveSmart 65MT is built-in to the GPS unit itself. It does not require an accessory traffic cable. It only requires the TA20 vehicle power cable that comes with it.
Thanks for this. Guessing the same limitation rules apply to the built in HD traffic receiver vs. the app (LIVE). I wish the detailed description regarding the product indicated the TA20 cable and that the HD traffic receiver is built in vs. "Includes Traffic" under the Specs(unless I missed it someplace).
Yeah it's the Drivesmart 55...
Ah, if the DriveSmart 55 rather than the Drive 55 mentioned in the first post is being discussed, my earlier comments may or may not apply. Also, the DriveSmart 55 uses the newer smartphone app and I know nothing about it. The original smartphone link app was all or none but I do not know if that carries over to the newer app.
The product info for the DriveSmart 55 does not show a TA20 as an available compatible accessory but does offer the two GTM cables. The specs for the DriveSmart 55 also state in the box that there is a "Traffic receiver/vehicle power cable" and this also seems to conflict with the thought that the DriveSmart 55 comes with a built-in traffic receiver needing just a TA20 power/traffic antenna cable. Remember that I have no experience with the DriveSmart 55 or new app so my statements are based only upon the specs provided by Garmin given in a link in an earlier reply. On the other hand, the TA20 cable is shown as compatible with the DriveSmart 55 so maybe the traffic receiver is built into the DriveSmart 55. Here's how to tell if you already own a DriveSmart 55:
Regarding operations in remote areas, my experience has been that HD and FM radio broadcasts required for Garmin Traffic are lost well before cell signals are lost and that's why many here state that traffic from the smartphone app is much better than either the FM or HD traffic.
Yes, the DriveSmart 55 and DriveSmart 65 both come with the TA20 power cable. HD Digital Traffic is received through the GPS unit itself; not the cable. The DriveSmart 55 and 65 can use the GTM cables but there are no advantages. (In most vehicles, the GPS unit is in a better position to receive the HD radio broadcasts anyway.)
As for the Garmin Drive app, not that many units can use it so far, but on the DriveSmart 55 and DriveSmart 65, it provides way wider coverage for traffic than the HD Digital Traffic. HD Traffic comes from radio stations that broadcast a "HERE HD" traffic signal, but the Garmin Drive app uses cellphone signals through a third-party traffic coverage provider "HERE WeGo" that has coverage in nearly every large city in Canada and the U.S., plus many major highways.
For example, here in Canada, there is HERE HD Radio coverage in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. But there is HERE WeGo coverage in nearly every major city and across most major highways.
Here is an example. Any road marked with green receives traffic data and can be seen on a DriveSmart 55 or 65 through the Garmin Drive app:
All good info here.
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