TomTom IQ Routes
Inside TomTom HOME there is a little preference that says “Enable collection of anonymouse usage statistics”. This is part of the key behind TomTom IQ Routes which provide more accurate estimations of the time it takes to travel road segments, and thus better route calculations. How are the two related?
Whenever you calculate a route on your TomTom, and then drive that route, the device compares the time it estimated the drive would take you with the actual time the drive took. The data is saved, and then with your permission transfered to TomTom via HOME. TomTom collects that data from you and thousands of other users and builds up a profile of each road segment, for each hour of the day.
Perviously, they might only know the speed limit of the road segment being traveled and the device would create an estimated drive time based on that speed limit. Now the device can take a look at the time of day, day of week, and the time it actually took other drivers to pass that road segment. This data is then used to calculate the most efficient route based on the time of day, day of week, and the road network.
There is a road nearby where I live that highlights this example well. Over a two mile stretch I often drive the speed limit is 30 mph. However there are numerous crosswalks, traffic lights, a fire station, a school, and numerous people trying to cross traffic holding up lanes behind them. There is no way most vehicles will average 30 mph on that stretch of road. By driving the road with an active route and a TomTom, my speeds will be anonymously sent to TomTom. This data will then be collected with other drivers’ speeds and used to calculate more accurate time estimates in the future.