One of the biggest pains to buying a GPS system is the knowledge that your maps will be outdated within 12 months, if not sooner. TomTom knows it, and they're doing something about it. Announced this week, the company is selling select navigation models that come with Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates. For free!
It's a move that was probably necessary to fight Garmin, Navigon and the slew of other nav options
that are now coming to smartphones, including Google's own Maps Navigation. Better still, TomTom
will allow users to download fresh maps "every few months," which include one million more miles than rival maps. The lifetime updates to traffic is also huge for those who travel a lot (and get stuck in traffic jams a lot); in practice, TomTom devices receive the latest traffic information every three minutes, recalculate total drive time and suggest more efficient alternate routes if they are available.
Amazon is offering the XL 335S, XL 340S and XL 540S models bundled with Lifetime Traffic or Map Updates, or both depending on consumer preference. These models will be designated with an M, T or TM accordingly. The MSRP premium for Lifetime Traffic Updates is $30, as is Lifetime Map Updates ($30). Combined, it's a $60 premium price. Pricing on compatible units starts at $199.95.