Driving while fiddling with tech is a dangerous combination. Unless you’re James Bond, of course. Luckily, TomTom’s just made it infinitely easier to change your destination or escape the traffic without taking your eyes off the road. How? By stuffing its own version of Siri’s voice recognition tech into your car.
TomTom Speak & Go is the latest line of defence against the gamut of free and paid mobile navigation apps currently eating away at the standalone satnav business. It’s bespoke software launching in the new TomTom Via 130 and 135. And it’s clever.
Like a sort of Siri-meets-Kit, Speak & Go lets you talk naturally to the device, without fear of it misunderstanding you. It understands over 1,000 voice commands, from asking where the nearest petrol station is to a simple, fraught ‘take me home’. It’ll also let you connect your phone via BlueTooth for handsfree calling and dialing.
“The new Speak & Go feature helps increase focus and concentration by allowing users to keep their hands on the wheel,” says TomTom’s MD Corinne Vigreux. “Interacting with your navigation device has never been easier; it slots perfectly into your everyday drive.” While previous TomTom devices had voice tech stuffed inside, this is being heralded as a ‘vastly improved’ service.
So how much for Siri-style in-car talking? The TomTom via 130, with a 4.3-inch display will set you back £129 for UK and Republic of Ireland maps, or £149 with European maps. Stick an extra £20 on those prices for the TomTom Via 135, which proffers a larger 5-inch display.