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ITIS Traffic Information
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Tim Buxton
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
I haven't had the opportunity to test a car equipped with OEM Satnav and TMC but I wonder if our issues when using portable equipment are simply poor antenna design?

The counter argument to that possibility is that the same hardware operates with very much better results on the continent.


A mate of mine has an Audi Allroad. It's a UK car but he lives in Holland. France, Belgium and Holland he says he gets TMC data all the time, though I didn't ask as to its accuracy. Here in the Sout East of England the TMC icon always has a red line through it. No data is received.
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swing
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Buxton wrote:
A mate of mine has an Audi Allroad. It's a UK car ... in the Sout East of England the TMC icon always has a red line through it.
This may be caused by a separate issue - Audi only started providing UK TMC service a year or so ago, and still provide a non-UK TMC disk by default. In those other countries, the TMC service is free, and therefore is even included on the non-UK TMC disk. Unless he has a UK TMC enabled disk, this may explain his lack of TMC in the UK.
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jonathanb
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mostdom wrote:
Jonathan.

I have noticed on some occations where laybys attract more than one lorry you can recieve a traffic warning. I have now seen this at several different locations only to find free flowing traffic.
I don't know if these fleet systems need to be turned off during rest periods but will these changes reduce these false reports.

Also some of the PGPSW forum members feel that reception is in fact the biggest single problem with TMC on the whole, with many having to replace the standard ariel supplied with common GPS equpiment with more efficient ones. Will additional stations really solve this problem? or Can the source signal be boosted in any way?

Thanks

Were you passing the layby at the time that the delay message was showing on your receiver? If you can give me a date, rough time and location I will investigate for you.

Regarding receivers and aerials. Yes, this is a big issue but manufacturers are starting to overcome it. See for example the review of the Navman F30 in the July 2007 issue of What Mobile? which states "The TMC antenna is quite a break from the standard pink wire of other solutions...In fact it doesn't just look better than the equivalent wires, it actually works better too...the Navman had locked onto Classic FM almost as quickly as the device got a GPS fix".

The strength of the source signal is regulated by Ofcom and cannot be boosted. Where stations are available they can be added to improve the performance of portable devices as my colleague Danny Woolard has explained on this forum. For the best reception we do always recommend an antenna splitter - but this can never compensate for non-existent transmitters. The North West of England is one place where only ITIS has satisfactory coverage.
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swing
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathanb wrote:
If you can give me a date, rough time and location I will investigate for you.
I'd just like to say I find iTIS' attitude towards these forums a nice refreshing change to many corporates - the fact you are willing to provide information, and provide feedback on issues is to be recommended, and I hope you and Danny can continue to participate in these forums to help ensure that us customers are getting the level of service we would like to see!

Please keep coming back Smile
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swing wrote:
I'd just like to say I find iTIS' attitude towards these forums a nice refreshing change to many corporates - the fact you are willing to provide information, and provide feedback on issues is to be recommended


Hear, hear.

I had previously favoured the other provider, simply because of experience with their products over several years. However, seeing that only one of the two TMC providers appears to be recognising the needs of end-users and my allegiances are changing.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathanb wrote:
...Were you passing the layby at the time that the delay message was showing on your receiver? If you can give me a date, rough time and location I will investigate for you...


Google Map Link

This link above is one which happen so regularily you should just be able to moniter the past week or so to see the reports. On this road there are two laybys where there are always lorries parked up but the reports I see are between 5-6pm. The others I am aware of are less regular so I will post a report when I next get one.

I also agree totally with swing, Well done!
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GPS_fan
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dannyw wrote:
Earlier this year we concluded a number of new contracts which will provide us access to further Regional stations across the UK. Details will announced in due course as they come on air.


Is it possible for you to give any indication if any announcements might be made before the peak holiday season, for the benefit of those possibly using GPS & TMC in less familiar territory (tourists) than those using it on regular routes?

I understand that the contents of such announcements are probably company-confidential and that's not what I'm asking, but I'm sure that a number of people may be interested to know when they might expect to hear more about iTIS and a possible increase in coverage.

If we just have to wait, then such is life Wink
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jonathanb
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mostdom wrote:
jonathanb wrote:
...Were you passing the layby at the time that the delay message was showing on your receiver? If you can give me a date, rough time and location I will investigate for you...


Google Map Link

This link above is one which happen so regularily you should just be able to moniter the past week or so to see the reports. On this road there are two laybys where there are always lorries parked up but the reports I see are between 5-6pm. The others I am aware of are less regular so I will post a report when I next get one.

I also agree totally with swing, Well done!


Our investigation into this is not complete but I wanted to give you an update before the weekend. From the tracks that we have examined so far there is no evidence that there is an issue with the layby. It would seem that any delay is caused by queuing at the traffic lights at New Road and between there and the roundabout. I will update you further when I have more information.
Thanks to you and others for your kind remarks about our posts.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathanb wrote:
...It would seem that any delay is caused by queuing at the traffic lights at New Road and between there and the roundabout...


I too have been monitoring this site more rigorously since my post and the above seems true. Sods Law. When I get a conclusive case I will post the Times and location here as requested. Thanks.
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inspiredron
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathanb wrote:

For the best reception we do always recommend an antenna splitter - but this can never compensate for non-existent transmitters.


I have three vehicles and want to use my satnav in any of the three. What is your view on the effect on radio reception of leaving the splitter end for the TMC disconnected when the satnav is in another car? Will reflections downgrade the radio reception, including the normal RDS Traffic info?
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Retty
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathanb wrote:
mostdom wrote:
jonathanb wrote:
...Were you passing the layby at the time that the delay message was showing on your receiver? If you can give me a date, rough time and location I will investigate for you...


Google Map Link

This link above is one which happen so regularily you should just be able to moniter the past week or so to see the reports. On this road there are two laybys where there are always lorries parked up but the reports I see are between 5-6pm. The others I am aware of are less regular so I will post a report when I next get one.

I also agree totally with swing, Well done!


Our investigation into this is not complete but I wanted to give you an update before the weekend. From the tracks that we have examined so far there is no evidence that there is an issue with the layby. It would seem that any delay is caused by queuing at the traffic lights at New Road and between there and the roundabout. I will update you further when I have more information.
Thanks to you and others for your kind remarks about our posts.


It really is very interesting to read your posts. Thanks for taking the time - and the risk! - in posting to a public forum.

I travel the road in question very frequently. It's a road that is prone to very significant jams (in terms of time and length of jam) frequently - at least 3 or 4 times a week. ITIS usually picks the jams up fairly promptly. Before December 2006 - when my Mio used Trafficmaster - I was very, very rarely alerted to jams on the road.

I usually trust the TMC reporting but I have noticed, occasionally, that a jam is reported when there's only relatively light and fast clearing congestion.

The problem I have with TMC reporting, especially in this geographical area, is different. I've tried to approach Mio about it without any response. Basically, there's a conflict in the direction of congestion flow between the first and the second line in the TMC report:



The first line of the first entry describes a south to north flow (Basingstoke to London) but the second line of the first entry describes a north to south flow (Lightwater to Hook).

The first line of the second entry described a west to east flow (Bracknell to Guildford) but the second line of the second entry describes an east to west flow (Lightwater to Bagshot).

The second one isn't a great example because of the proximity of the 2 locations in the second line. I've seen other better examples of the problem which I haven't managed to capture.

I'm suspect - although I can't be sure - that the problem is the result of a software bug in the Mio C710 and other Miomap devices. It's possible, I guess, that there's a problem with this and other Mio devices in interpreting the ITIS TMC feed.

The problem doesn't impact TMC reporting on the continent and I wonder if it's a problem with the device recognising left hand drive direction.

The problem appears more often than not - probably about 98% of the time - and 100% of the time on the roads in question.

I don't remember seeing the problem when the device license file was for Trafficmaster which makes me wonder whether or not there's an issue specific to Miomap and ITIS.

Gareth.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dannyw wrote:
Earlier this year we concluded a number of new contracts which will provide us access to further Regional stations across the UK. Details will announced in due course as they come on air.


Is it possible for iTIS to give an indication if any announcements might be made before the peak holiday season?

I understand that the contents of such announcements are probably company-confidential and that's not what I'm asking, but I'm sure that a number of people may be interested to know when they might expect to hear more about iTIS and a possible increase in coverage.
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perussell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fascinating forum and very welcome. A couple of comments and questions:
I just switched from a Garmin Nuvi to a Mio C520t - is the TMC for this unit provided by ITIS or Trafficmaster?
I appear to be receiving traffic messages but I am not convinced they are reliable - on the one hand I am not seeing the 2 small cars below the satellite dish on the screen which the manual suggests indicate that TMC is being received and yet my unit is displaying the little numbered triangles on the screen and providing TMC info - what is going on?
I have an OEM fit unit in my Volvo which I no longer use primarily because of its' appalling routing but it is TMC enabled and uses, I believe, ITIS derived info. However it missed a couple of MAJOR traffic incidents that my separate stand alone Trafficmaster Freeway accurately picked up so you will understand that I remain sceptical that ITIS provides a reliable service just now.
That said the above is very comforting in that it seems the service will improve and we have a TMC representative on this forum.
Once reliable TMC is available then I think Satnav will truly come into its' own in the same way as SkyPlus advanced TV recording
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

perussell wrote:
Mio C520t - is the TMC for this unit provided by ITIS or Trafficmaster?


TMC for your Mio C520t should be provided by iTIS, not Trafficmaster.

perussell wrote:
However it missed a couple of MAJOR traffic incidents that my separate stand alone Trafficmaster Freeway accurately picked up so you will understand that I remain sceptical that ITIS provides a reliable service just now.


Like yourself, I also rely on a Trafficmaster Freeway (and radio traffic bulletins) as backup.

It may be worth commenting that other incidents may be detected and reported by iTIS but missed by Trafficmaster, due to the sensor methods the two companies use and remember that the Trafficmaster network is limited to motorways and a few major roads, whereas iTIS may be more flexible.

For example, iTIS TMC has reported such things as traffic light failures and gives an indication of the traffic speed within a reported incident. This doesn't seem to happen with Trafficmaster TMC.

The two little cars thing may not be an issue, here are a few messages found in the Mio & TMC thread (http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=47045&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=):

4 Feb 07
GPS_fan wrote:
I think that perhaps too much attention is being paid to the word "Testing" and the two little cars.

I've been a bit of an anorak and this is what I've observed:

1) even with the unit locked onto a radio station and traffic data being received, the word "Testing" periodically appears as the unit searches for alternative (possibly better) TMC signals
2) with the unit locked onto a radio station and traffic data being received, the two cars don't seem to appear until there is a good strong TMC signal

It would seem, therefore, that when "Testing" is shown TMC information may be viewed in the 'Events' list and the absence of the 2 cars does not necessarily mean no TMC - it may just be that the signal has not reached the required strength to trigger the icon to change.


10 Feb 07:
GPS_fan wrote:
Being a bit of an anorak lately, I've found that often the unit needs the user to change screen before the GPS logo changes to show the two cars when a TMC signal is detected and/or to remove them when a signal is lost.

At home, I get good TMC reception from at least 2 radio stations, but the two cars don't appear unless I go to the menu (or other screen) and back to the map or cockpit screens which display the GPS icon.

Similarly, when I'm in a known TMC blackspot, the two cars don't disappear unless I go to the menu (or other screen) and back to the map or cockpit screens which display the GPS icon.

Am I alone in not seeing the GPS icon to change automatically to reflect the true TMC status Question


12 Feb 07:
dpmguy wrote:
I expereience exactly the same symptoms as you describe. The two little cars remain until i change menu screens or do not appear for ages even though the mio is anouncing traffic jam ahead; so is deffinatley receiving traffic information. I have taken to ignoring their presence.

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Shinymera
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to know what ITIS coverage is in Scotland?

I took out a subscription for TT traffic. After using it for two months I gave up and sold my TomTom. I travel mainly B roads through the week and was paying for GPRS for no reports.
However I subscribed to traffic for the weekends, this is where I was really let down. Between April 13 and June 18 the Forth Road bridge has shut the northbound side and set up a contraflow on the southbound every weekend.

This has led to stationary traffic and delays of up to 1.5 hours with a knock on effect at Kincardine bridge. All this has been well reported on radios and road signs. Yet every weekend my TomTom traffic was telling me there were no delays in fact it was not even saying there was a contraflow.

How can a user have confidence in this information when it misses major disruption like this?

Some comment have been that the reliability of the information fall off at the weekend. Is this true?
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