Well, I wrote about capability being added to TomTom that would allow it to collect data related to trip timings etc. But the first company to actually announce such as product was IMHO Dash.
Dash offers a device called as Dash Express. The device features concepts such as a built in WiFi receiver (Others provide bluetooth and require a phone with data plan, Dash needs a Wireless Hotspot with an Internet connection, something easy to have for most people) ,Autoupdate over Internet, ability to send data to Dash over the Internet (such as itinerary). Most important thing it offers is ability to collect information about trip timings, route taken, road block encountered, analyze historical traffic patterns and suggest a better router.
Dash Express is based on open source technologies such as Linux just like TomTom is. In fact, Linux Kernel as modified by Dash is available for download (I wish they would submit their changes to Linux Kernel rather then releasing such code drops, but that needs another discussion).
My wish-list for such devices:
- Give me a free device with a free subscription
- Have a tie up with multiple large hotspot providers such as T-Mobile Hotspot (Think of yourself stopping at a Starbucks for a coffee, and your GPS system uses their Internet connection for free and updates itself with map updates, updated traffic/weather information etc).
A bigger wish:
- Create a standard POI exchange format, which multiple GPS providers can standardize. GPS providers should create standardized POI registry which people can access for free or a very small fee (If the repository is shared, then individual GPS providers do not need to maintain it, it saves them the efforts).
I can ask for more, but this is sufficient for now.