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Traffic avoidance w/ Nav system?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Audio and Electronics' started by NickinVA, Jul 31, 2010.

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  1. NickinVA

    NickinVA Not saving the world, just gas

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    I'm new to the forum, and new to Toyota's - so please forgive me if this is well-known info, but after hunting for ~90 min I can't find anything that specifically addresses the efficacy of the traffic avoidance on the built-in Nav system.

    I understand the challenges some are having with the Nav system around map age, etc., but I'm more interested in its traffic avoidance system. How does it work? Does it re-route you? Does it use the traffic to calculate your arrival time?

    I would hate to think I need to mount my Garmin just for this - thank you in advance,

    Nick
  2. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    If you have the NavTraffic (part of satellite radio, not free), it can route you around traffic incidents, assuming there are alternate roads in the area. I've used it a few times, it seems to do OK. It also speaks traffic conditions, starting about 20 miles away. It does not recalculate your arrival time; that is purely based off of the type of roads you are on (residential/main streets/highways), and can be set by you; the defaults are 25/35/55 mph, I believe. If you often encounter traffic, you might want to adjust these estimates. On the other hand, when it gets the road type wrong, the estimated arrival is way off; I've definitely driven on a highway that it thought was a main street, so it'd show me 2 minutes closer for every minute of driving.

    Without the traffic service, you can tell it to detour for a certain distance instead; 1, 3, and 5 miles, or 5, 15, and 25 on a freeway.
    2 people like this.
  3. NickinVA

    NickinVA Not saving the world, just gas

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    Thank you very much, that's exactly what I needed! :)
  4. gadelrosario

    gadelrosario New Member

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    If you don't mind, please tell me how you've set up your Navi? All my XM traffic service tells me is that there is traffic up ahead and never offers me a re-direct. I've been stuck in traffic a couple of times and no alternate routes have ever been presented.
  5. MERIDIAN

    MERIDIAN Junior Member

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    I don't have it in my Prius but I just got a 3 month trial in my new Sienna. Mixed feelings about it's acuracy in reporting traffic, It was right only half of the time. Some times it reports traffic that did not exist or would not know the difference between traffic in my direction or lanes close by going in the opposite direction. For the kind of money they're asking, they can keep it, I need at least 90% accuracy. Brother in law reports similar problems but is less demanding than I am. Good luck.
    P.s : As far a re-routing is concerned, of course youl'll have to have a destination programmed, I've done this but still have not been re-routed
  6. richsc

    richsc New Member

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    I use my iPad and the free app "beat the traffic" which seems very accurate.
  7. MERIDIAN

    MERIDIAN Junior Member

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    Sounds good to me! Alot of people also have to realize that the info Xm broadcasts for traffic is old info, I use my local news-that's just as old but at least I'm not paying for it.
    What's funny is when you're just having one of those days, even Superman can't get you out of traffic.:)
  8. gadelrosario

    gadelrosario New Member

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    Yes - I do have a destination plotted out and everything. Just no re-route. Seems pretty useless to know that you'll be stuck in traffic and have no suggestion for a viable alternative. :(
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    And that's what confuses me. There's an option in the Detailed Nav Settings to auto-reroute but I'm not sure if ON or OFF turns on the auto-reroute function (if I interpreted the manual correctly, it should ask if you wish to detour).

    There's also the possibility that the detour is longer than waiting in traffic so the nav may not re-route.
  10. pixelmixer

    pixelmixer New Member

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    Sadly, you will. I have a Garmin with free traffic and it is an effective, functional solution. The XM Traffic w/Nav in the Prius is nearly useless. I would actually find amusement sitting at a standstill for 15 minutes on a freeway, only to hear "accident ahead" after it had already cleared.
    I wish a Garmin unit could replace the unit in the Prius.
  11. pixelmixer

    pixelmixer New Member

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    Nope. The unit isn't that sophisticated.
  12. gadelrosario

    gadelrosario New Member

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    In that case, there's no point paying extra money for traffic news that I can get off the AM traffic station. Or I can use the AT&T Navigator on my smartphone. That being said, more often than not, even that one tells me there is no better route.

    Which then begs the question: maybe the XM traffic feature only suggests a re-route when an alternative route is available? Or am I giving XM too much credit?:confused:
  13. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Just giving it the benefit of the doubt lol. Of course it could be that it doesn't work. I know my TomTom gives the same options and in the manual, it states that it'll give you the est. time so you know if your detour's longer or not. If you set it to auto-detour (i.e. it won't ask you whether you want to detour or not), it'll figure all of that out on its own. Sadly, TomTom doesn't offer traffic in Canada while XM does.
  14. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    I believe it offers to update the route any time the traffic info changes. This is perhaps most noticeable on a particularly long drive; if you're only driving a half hour or so, it might not change. In that case, you can hit Route at the bottom of the screen, then Detour, then Around Traffic. And the setting you want is Detailed Navi. Settings -> Auto Avoid Traffic -> On.
  15. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I find the traffic condition offered by XM is not worth paying the extra monthly service. I live in an area where the XM traffic does not offer service. I travel to LA from time to time and it's only then will it work. Even then, it's not as accurate. The only nice part about it is that it shows some type of traffic condition on the nav screen. The best source for traffic condition is Google Maps on my phone. It offers traffic condition on the street level but not as accurate as the freeway. It's accurate down to a few feet. I use my phones Google Maps and drive accordingly and let the Toyota auto re-route when necessary.
  16. Ricklin11

    Ricklin11 Junior Member

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    Had a recent Nav experience I thought I would share. I have both built in Nav in the Prius, and my old Gen 2 Prius as well. I have an older Garmin street pilot in the 4Runner.
    I have been using GPS nav for as long as anyone, and way longer than most. My first system consisted of my laptop, with an external SCSI CD drive, and a portable GPS receiver on the dash. That system replaced about 10 or 15 pounds worth of Thomas guides. I figure I've been using GPS in the car for about 15 years.
    All the systems have their faults, Garmin being the best system IMHO. Toyota systems have their faults, but overall rate a 7 or 8 with me.

    When my Gen 2 was totaled the ins. co. provided a Hertz rental car, it had their never lost GPS. It was the worst GPS system I have ever used. A cryptic user interface, and interesting route calculations.

    I asked it for a route home from the Seattle airport, I know the way, but did not know how to find the freeway from the rental place. I asked for the fastest route.
    Strangely it advised me to take an exit I knew better than to take, upon passing the exit the unit recalculated the route to the route I always take, and updated the arrival time to 15 minutes sooner than what it initially calculated. So much for the fastest route!
    It also seemed to have multiple personalities, i swear that thing had 5 or 6 different voices generally mispronouncing street and place names. After using that system I came to appreciate my Toyota nav a little more.
  17. TimBreese

    TimBreese New Member

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    I live in the New York area and I was hoping that the traffic navigation would help me get around some snags getting into the city. My home is in Westchester and if I turn off the preference for highways it still does not route me the best way which is down the Saw Mill Parkway (which for some reason it does not consider a highway). I am in the free trial but I have not heard any traffic alerts. I thought I had turned it on! After looking at my XM account it looks as if traffic does not come with the trial package. I have emailed them about it : (

    Any city folk who would like to share their setup with me? I'm in a 2010 Prius III with built in navigation.
  18. Sassan

    Sassan New Member

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    You have to have your destination set to be able to hear the traffic alerts. You will know whether it is on if there is a box on the left side of the map screen when you drive that shows a picture of a road with green, yellow, or red highlighting, indicating traffic conditions. When the trial expires, I think the road picture remains, but no colors show up. If there is any construction on a road, it should tell you (to the point it annoys you and makes you want to turn it off...).
  19. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi All,

    I had TA on, but turned it off after an exasperating drive one day. I had a trip up to Vernon Hills from the western burbs here in Chicagoland, on I 355, in the middle of the bright sunny day to go to a computer store. With what had been really good (to me) routing trials in the past, I decided to key in the destination and try it for this trip as I had never been to that store.

    Right from the start it was trying to avoid I-355, and take me off onto really slow side roads (old Route 53). I ignored its direction, and drove along just fine. It would beep and try to get me to exit over and over and over. It was quite annoying. While I proceeded along in great travelling conditions on I 355. Apparently, it had been told there was some traffic caused by construction by Wood Field Mall. Which really was not there anylonger. How long? Who knows, hours, days weeks? A Month? Hard to say. But, the thing tried to make a 3 hour trip out of a 45 minute drive. Have not been using XM traffic since, and am not going to be reuping the subscription....
  20. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    I experienced two traffic alerts during my free intro period. The 1st time it alerted me to the traffic congestion in the Lincoln Tunnel. (No s---, Sherlock.) The other was for congestion on I-295 (I presume around Bordentown) which I wasn't taking.

    A Service Writer showed me that you have to turn off the preferences for each type of route or choose the one that you know avoids highways.

    I don't know how it gets the traffic info or how extensive the coverage is. In South Jersey there is no coverage.
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