TomTom Connects With Google, But Not The Internet

tomtomt on google

TomTom, who’s currently in a bidding war with Garmin for data company Tele Atlas, has announced integration plans with Google (Radar post). As reported in the LA Times:

TomTom said its users would be able to transfer information to their devices when they are connected to the Internet with one mouse click and then view the location on their TomTom.

It said it would continue to explore partnerships with third parties to expand the personalization options it offers.

The tie-up would for instance allow TomTom users to plan a city trip by searching for accommodation, restaurants or museums using Google Maps on their computer and then transfer the places they want to visit to their TomTom device.

TomTom’s devices do include so-called “points of interest” — such as restaurants, petrol stations and parking garages — but if a user has not regularly bought map upgrades, such data can become out of date.

Industry experts have also argued that consumers usually do not sit in their cars using a navigation system to plan trips, and are much more likely to use their computers at home, where they have full Internet access.

The article is light on details, but poking around on Tomtom’s site more information can be found. Unlike the soon-to-be-released Dash, Tomtom is not announcing an internet-connected GPS (my first assumption). The Tomtom devices will have to be connected to your PC or Mac and synced via TomTom Home. The software package will also help users download new maps, configure the device and upload map data corrections (Mapshare — a program that will be especially important if TomTom gets Tele Atlas).

It’s impressive to see TomTom opening up their devices to allow people to add their own POIs (Points of Interest) easily, but it’s not enough. Nokia, RIM, and especially Dash are releasing internet-connected GPSs. In many cases my iPhone will serve me just as well as an in-dash GPS. TomTom, Garmin and Magellan should definitely take note and give me the internet in my car.

You can see a video of the integration in action after the jump.

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