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TomTom Attack Android Use In Cars

Article by: rob brady
Date: 20 Sep 2018

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TomTom has warned the car industry that partnering up with the tech companies of Silicon Valley is against their own interests.

They say that integrating Google’s Android operating systems in vehicles poses a threat.

In an interview, TomTom's CEO Harold Goddijn said: "It is a real threat for the entire car industry to give the keys to the kingdom to a third party with its own strategy and tactics".

Goddijn brought up worries surrounding privacy and client data. He also spoke about car manufacturers losing control.

Shares in TomTom have plunged by over a quarter this week following news that Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced they would use Android system in their vehicles - all three have an existing relationship with TomTom.


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Posted by Kremmen on Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:33 pm Reply with quote

No it's not a threat to the car industry but a threat to TomTom.

Maybe if TT didn't lock down their software for built in units then car owners wouldn't want more open Android units, with presumably Google Maps.

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V2

Posted by PaulB2005 on Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:01 pm Reply with quote

and if the built in TomTom units weren't so frustratingly slow, awkward and cumbersome perhaps I wouldn't be turned away from built in sat nav for my next car.

Apple Car Play and Android Auto are the way forward.

Perhaps if the TT apps could work with ACP and AA...…..????

Posted by sussamb on Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:18 pm Reply with quote

I'm impressed with Android Auto in my wife's new car but it's a very simplistic navigator. No real ability to route plan etc but fine for a simple 'go to'.

Where there's a will ... there's a way.

Posted by Kremmen on Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:53 am Reply with quote

On a similar tack, the latest Honda and Merc, and probably other headunits have integrated Garmin SatNav but they are also heavily locked down.

If they had the same, easy, customisation as the PND's then I'd be interested.

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V2

Posted by DennisN on Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:46 am Reply with quote

The first Renaults had Carminat, a Nav2 system, supported by TomTom. My only complaint with it was I didn’t have a HD Live Traffic.

The next one was the new improved locked down R-Link, with the added improvement of support only from Renault, who seem to have restricted training for their staff to how to switch on a computer, but none were trained to do the vital part of PDI by initialising the system before delivery. I HAVE discovered a bit of software by a French guy which has sort of Win Explorer access and the system does warn on approach to POIs, so it’s possible to run Pgpsw cameras on it. My only difficulty is my only Windoze machine is an ancient laptop with Win 7 Home Premium, which takes half an hour to boot up, another half hour to stop running all the preloaded HP “helpful” crap, then the same again to start the R-Link program. So I don’t bother as I have CA on iPhone.

But in my opinion, built in units have the potential to be the dog’s whatsits but TT (and others?) don’t do the business properly.


If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

Posted by sunbeam16 on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:15 am Reply with quote

Most magazine car tests reckon that built in sat nav is very poor value & you will be ripped off for map updates where Tomtom & Garmin offer free updates & the hardware for less than the cost of one map update. Testers seem to prefer navigation on a phone where CarPlay & Android auto are available.
I'd rather have a stand alone unit where maps & POIs are easily updated & usability is likely to be better than built in.

Posted by Fellwalker on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:47 am Reply with quote

My VW has built in here maps navigation, which means it is always out of date and the POIs are far from good. When I submit map updates they don't always appear at the next update.

It also has Android auto, which gives me Google maps which is up to date and has far more and more accurate POIs. If I submit updates they are shown as soon as the correction is accepted (quickly now that I'm a local guide level 7). But the interface is very limited, and needs a data connection.

TomTom blew it several years ago when the full update to my year old satnav was bigger than the on board memory, and the following year they advised me that lifetime meant "while we can be bothered to provide updates for your device".

I've tried the much applauded Waze, but find it far less useful than Google maps, with an annoying interface. I tried routing but it didn't have the destination that I found in Google maps and on the inbuilt system.

If I set up a WiFi connection via a hotspot on my phone, both get traffic information.

Despite its drawbacks I find I am using the inbuilt navigation more often due to the drawbacks of the interface on Android auto. If they want it to be the complete replacement they need to give it more functionality.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Nexus 5, Galaxy tab S3. Also use OSMAnd+, Sygic Mobile Maps, and OS maps app. Also "Great Britain Topo Maps" and "Old Maps". Don't use speed camera database as sticking to the limit is safer.

Posted by navtrav on Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:06 am Reply with quote

Well I'm on TomTom's side on this. Google already knows far too much about us and now wants to take charge of our vehicles, recording such things as our fuel-buying and driving habits and our maybe limit-breaking speed.
With their inter-connecting of every thing, we're now handing Google the equivalent of a black box in our cars.
And of course the day is coming when we'll be handing them our steering wheel.
Our lives will soon totally not be our own.


Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tablet S, TomTom. Osmand+ and Sygic. Ex-TomTom Go 1000 Live, ex-TomTom Go 700, ex-TomTom truck, ex Navman/Ipaq

Posted by Kremmen on Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:20 am Reply with quote

I use my phone for CA which connects to my headunit via BlueTooth and is fine as long as I turn the CA map display off.

With CA maps constantly updating, my phone ran very (very) hot and I wasn't happy. Similarly, running Google Maps for navigation and traffic makes it hotter than I think is good for it so a standalone Garmin is my solution.

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V2

Posted by Privateer on Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:44 am Reply with quote

News Team Wrote:
Shares in TomTom have plunged by over a quarter this week following news that Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced they would use Android system in their vehicles - all three have an existing relationship with TomTom.

I suspect that the above is the real reason why Harold Goddijn has attacked Android. To deflect the news from the shareholders that he's responsible to.

Whilst I agree that Google knows too much about us, I wish Harold Goddijn would actually concentrate on the things that matter to his own company, which is to retain and increase the number of customers that use TomTom products. Currently, the iOS app "TomTom GO Mobile" has been publicly available for nearly 3 years and is so very basic with many features missing that its predecessor had.

Harold Goddijn stop whining about other companies and sort your own company out first, by improving your products, before you criticise others.


iPhone 6s Plus, iOS 12.2: iOS CamerAlert v2.0.7
TomTom GO Mobile iOS 1.10.2; TomTom (UK & ROI and Europe) iOS apps v1.29
Garmin Camper 770 LMT-D

Posted by Viognier on Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:03 am Reply with quote

I have been using TomTom for ever - well since their first devices and for many years completely relied on TomTom on my iPhone.

Last year I bought a Renault Zoe with integrated TomTom mapping. Lovely display and familiar TomTom functionality, but reflecting TomTom functionality of 5 years ago, totally impossible to add destination from a map (essential for service stations in France where postcodes give no accuracy) and no ability to create a route offline at home and out of date maps.

If the company cannot bring innovation to the car manufacturers, which clearly it has not done with Renault, then probably it deserves to be in the predicament that it is in. Unfortunately so typical of market leaders.

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