BMW adds real time traffic information to its 2007 navigation systems

At no recurring cost to the customer, RTTI transforms the navigation system from an option that is mainly used only when drivers are lost or going to an unknown destination, to a daily benefit that helps them reach their destinations more efficiently by cutting travel times.

Unlike other automobile manufacturers that charge a recurring monthly fee for RTTI, or require customers to pay for an additional satellite radio service, BMW has included RTTI as part of the cost of the navigation system for select 2007 BMW models. There are no activation fees or recurring monthly charges to BMW customers for 4 years. The system is built on Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network, and delivered to vehicles over the FM radio band.

Up-to-date traffic information is compiled from a variety of sources including FM radio stations, highway-embedded sensors, video monitors on bridges and roadways, and local traffic monitoring centers. Traffic data is then streamed to a dedicated tuner in the car's radio and transferred directly to the navigation system. So customers can receive traffic updates from a variety of stations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week-even when the radio is turned off or when the customer is listening to other entertainment sources such as a CD or iPod. The navigation system calculates the best route considering the traffic incidents and potential delays. In addition to alerting the driver to where the traffic is, if the delay is calculated to be more than 5 minutes then the navigation system will offer alternative routes around the congestion, either automatically or at the choice of the driver.