Monday, July 20, 2015

TomTom Rider Update 4

I've now had my TomTom Rider GPS for a little over three months and 8,100 miles. Not much more to report beyond my previous four reports (linked below) that I think cover most everything. However, having just wrapped a 4,555 mile trip through 15 states I have a few more "closing" points.

Planning on the Fly: Unlike my old Garmins, you can plan routes while on the fly with the TomTom. You can cancel a current route or initiate a new route/address/waypoint. You can also load an itinerary. The TomTom functions just as if you're standing still, but on the fly. Of course, I do not recommend doing that as it would seem to be kind of dangerous, but you can.

HOV Lane Avoidance: HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. You will typically see HOV Lanes in high traffic, metropolitan areas where they provide a dedicated lane for vehicles with more than one passenger and, in some instances, motorcycles. What is and isn't allowed in HOV Lanes is dependent upon the city or state.

The issue I found is when the TomTom plans a route that contains HOV Lanes it specifically asks you if you want to avoid them or not. My initial thought was "why would I want to avoid a HOV Lane?" I can either ride in it ... or not. However, what TomTom is really asking is "Will you/can you ride in the HOV Lane; if so, it will be included in the route planning." So when you plan you're route you need to know if you can and will be riding in the HOV Lane.

Where I caught this was in Atlanta, Georgia. When TomTom planned my route that took me through Atlanta, on my way to Lexington, Ohio it advised that there were HOV Lanes on the route and whether I wanted to avoid them. At the time of writing the route I did not know exactly where the HOV Lanes TomTom was referring to actually were. However, when I almost to Atlanta, I noted that the route was not pushing me over to the Atlanta ByPass (I-475). Then when I got into the Atlanta Area, while still on I-75, the TomTom Lane Guidance kept trying to push me over into the HOV Lane. Unfortunately, the Atlanta HOV doesn't provide for motorcycles. Not a huge problem on this trip, but it would have been had it been rush-hour traffic. Knowing the area, I would have just taken the ByPass; others may not.

So ... when TomTom advises that there are HOV Lanes on the route and asks if you would like to avoid them, the correct answer is "Yes" if you don't specifically know that you can ride/drive in the HOV. At that point, TomTom will plan a different route that will keep you out of the busier areas where HOV Lanes are more prevalent.

Low/Dead Battery Start Up: Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries naturally lose their charge over time when not in use. I have determined that when the TomTom Rider Lithium-Ion battery has lost its charge, it will not automatically start up when locked into the powered cradle. Of course, this may cause you panic, wondering if a wire has come undone or there's something wrong with the SatNav ... probably not the problems. What I've found is that it takes about one minute while cradled for the unit to draw enough power and then the TomTom will turn on with a touch of the on/off button on the top-right. After that, the automatic on/off functions from the powered cradle work properly. This all seems fairly natural and isn't a problem once you know what to do.

Time Zones: The clock and all the associated features (including estimated arrival times) do not change with the changes in time as you move through Time Zones. Of course, you can adjust the time, but that's rather a pain.

Past Updates and Information on TomTom Rider:

TomTom Rider Update 3
TomTom Rider Update 2
TomTom Rider Update 1
TomTom Rider


I've now added Update 5 during October 2015 that discusses breakage/replacement of the docking station on a recent road trip. LINK.

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