Traffic Navigation Devices

Looking for something to add to your high-tech map arsenal?

Consider a live traffic navigation service. You simply subscribe to the service, which is broadcast over FM or satellite, and it delivers up-to-the-minute traffic reports to your Global Positioning System (GPS).

Unlike radio broadcasts, which only report traffic news at scheduled times, traffic navigation services let you know about heavy traffic flows, construction work sites, serious traffic accidents, and any other situation that might cause a delay in your travels.

Why You Need Another Service

Many GPS systems are compatible with traffic navigation services; you just subscribe to the one your device supports. Do you really need another service, though? No, if you don't mind missing your only daughter's graduation. Of course you need this―it makes your GPS twice as useful. Sometimes you need traffic information more than you need a map.

For example, if you're driving to work or to your daughter's college graduation, you don't need GPS, since you already know the route. But you will need to know if there's a nasty traffic situation. Then use the GPS to find another route. Just like that, your traffic navigation service has saved the day.

How It All Works

To obtain live traffic services, you must live in a supported area. You also must make sure you have the right equipment. Depending on what you have, you'll subscribe to a live traffic service that compiles data from a number of sources: commercial traffic information providers, the local transportation department, and law enforcement and emergency services, to name a few.

Then, just program your destination to get traffic updates. Don't worry if you have your radio on―neither the traffic feed nor the radio will interfere with one another, whether it's delivered through FM or satellite.

Many new cars offer GPS and live traffic services as an option, or you can buy a system to add to your existing car. Always make sure the system will be compatible with your vehicle before you buy.

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