Where would we be without satnav? Good question, as most of us seem to have lost the ability to drive anywhere without some annoying slightly posh woman barking instructions at us every few minutes. Of course, satnav is not all gravy: who could forget the crazy satnav directions that led drivers wanting to travel between Swaledale and Wensleydale in North Yorkshire, England via the suitably named village of Crackpot. Along a steep and twisty unlit track, which runs along the edge of a sheer drop down a 100 foot cliff, the maps were sending people. And just to make matters worse, drivers got stuck on the narrow road and then attempted to reverse perilously close to the edge. Or how about the equally incredulous tale of the lorry driver delivering goods from Turkey to Gibraltar who was sent on satnav inspired detour of some 1,600 miles via the UK?
Of course, getting updated maps is the key to avoiding all the wring places. Not that this has always gone smoothly as some Windows users of the TomTom Home service, designed to provide just such updates, discovered when they connected their TomTom Go 910 devices to the PC only for it to infect them with a bunch of viruses. Yes, TomTom had let a batch of virus infected satnav units loose on an unsuspecting public. A news story I broke here on DaniWeb and which not only won the 'Best Information Security News Story' award but contributed to me winning the 'Information Security Journalist of the Year' award for the second time in three years.
So you can imagine that when a press release falls into my lap that has the keywords such as TomTom, Update Service and Satnav all jumping out at me that I am going to pay attention.
There will be no award winning scoops as a result of this story, although that does not mean it's not an interesting one. Indeed, for anyone who has ever got frustrated with that lady in the satnav for telling them to turn right ahead when the road is no entry, or worse still to follow the road for another 10 miles when it actually ended a mile ago, it could prove to be a godsend.
TomTom, you see, has announced a new update service which promises to ensure you have up-to-date maps. In fact it promises up-to-date maps for all users at all times.
For a reasonably low fixed fee, depending upon your device and the map sets you have installed, TomTom will push the latest maps in your direction via the TomTom HOME service as soon as they become available. Each map incorporating all the changes in the road network that have been validated by Tele Atlas.
"The introduction of the Map Update Service completes our already extensive map offering", says Corinne Vigreux, TomTom's managing director. "The world's road infrastructure changes up to 15% each year and with TomTom's Map Update Service, TomTom Map Share and our latest map guarantee, users can now also keep up with these changes, providing them with even more accurate and up-to-date navigation."
Apparently, on average, a new map release includes thousands of miles of new roads and Points of Interest, as well as unique Map Share corrections that have been reported by TomTom customers.