To test IQ Routes I entered in a trip I regularly drive from east London, all the way across town to south west London and Wimbledon Park, where my parents live. I’ve driven the route for years and I’m pretty familiar with all the fastest, most traffic free routes – a good test, in a very demanding environment for the new technology.
I was immediately impressed. Most sat-navs I review suggest a route (which also happens to be pretty slow) taking me across the Thames at Tower Bridge and through the traffic-clogged streets of south London, via Clapham Common and Clapham itself. The Go 930 Traffic was a revelation. Instead of instructing me to cross via Tower Bridge, the route stuck to the north of the river, past Westminster, only crossing at Albert Bridge once the drudgery of Battersea, and Clapham was far behind. Even my own route couldn’t match this choice. It’s hard to tell whether the 930 Traffic will maintain this level of performance over time, but none of the routes chosen during the period I had it on test appeared nonsensical or to have much better alternatives – with the 930 Traffic you can trust it even more than before to plan an efficient route for you.
The second major addition to the mix is lane assistance. On Navigon-based sat-navs I’ve reviewed in the past, such as the Panasonic Strada CN-GP50N and Navigon 5100, this is a boon, adding useful instructions about which lane you need to be in at complicated motorway junctions. After all, if you miss your motorway junction it could be 20 minutes before you’re back on track.
Again TomTom has implemented this better than any other sat-nav I’ve seen. Not only does it provide lane instructions via the next turn icon in the info bar running along the bottom or side of the screen for major motorway junctions, but it also does so for most other multi-lane roads too. Driving around London, several non-A roads brought up lane assistance icons, just as it did at the A406/M11 and M11/M25 junctions; no other sat-nav I’ve reviewed can boast that level of detail. The only disappointment is that TomTom hasn’t seen fit to record new voice instructions to match the new graphics and mapping, so while the screen might instruct you to keep to the left two lanes out of five, the voice instructions will still say “bear left”.