Amsterdam based navigation and location based products and service provider company, TomTom that acquired 100 per cent stake in its India JV Tele Atlas Kalyani India Pvt Ltd in October last year; has now released richer maps for over 5,500 cities and towns across India for its VIA Series portable navigation devices. Also around 3200 lane intersections have been updated to help in lane guidance.
The new maps cover recently built highways and intercity road networks too. Also points of interests like ATM’s, petrol stations, restaurants etc have been updated. According to the company TomTom maps now cover around 4 million points of interests in 62 categories.
Studies have revealed that India and other developing nation’s experiences a higher degree of changes to its land routes compared to other developed countries. While developed countries experience land route changes of 15 per cent annually, this number goes drastically upwards to 30 per cent in India. Which means that with a paper map that’s only 2 years old, there is a 1 in 10 chance of being wrongly directed with each reading? That’s how redundant land routes can get and thus the need to upgrade digital maps at frequent intervals.
TomTom PNDs are available in India (online) and at retail stores like Reliance AutoZone/Digital, Carnation etc and the starting price of TomTom PNDs in India is Rs. 15,000. The upgrade to these lifetime maps is free and you can download 4 or more full updates of the map on your device every year. You will receive all updates to road network, addresses and Points of Interest. Also any full updates to the map that is pre-installed on the devices would continue to match the original as long as it was still being sold in India.
To upgrade all connect your devices to a computer and create a MyTomTom account to register. Thereafter you can download the maps from here.
While the company representative refused to respond what kept us wondering is whether these updates will trickle down to Apple Maps because the latter’s maps solution also sources its data from TomTom or the range of HTC smartphones it has tied up to provide its maps and turn-by-turn directions in the country.
According to reports though navigation system market in India is poised to grow around $158 million by 2014, the question that arises is whether people actually prefer to spend a bomb on separate GPS and navigation systems when smartphones can easily run Google Maps that provides maps navigation and live traffic information.To add to it, it’s absolutely free.
What’s your opinion?