Garmin, however, was not made aware of the study and therefore was not able to make sure the PNDs are representative of our current technology, point out any concerns with the test plan and test environment, and to ensure up-to-date software and maps.
A fair comparison would have used the SPL app instead of the older Garmin connected PNDs.
The Garmin PNDs used for HD traffic, the 3490 (from 2011) and 3590 (from Jan 2012) were older models (2011/12) which have been superseded by the 3597.
The Tom Tom PND (2535 TM) is Tom Tom’s latest, premium unit (see 2.
There is no assurance that the software on the Garmin devices used for the study was up to date.
Last week, Tom Tom announced the results of a University of Michigan study that “concluded that Tom Tom’s i Phone Navigation App and GO 2535 Portable Navigation Device provide the most accurate real-time traffic data, when compared to a number of competing products.” As I pointed out in my weekly link roundup, Tom Tom paid for the study (full PDF report available here), which raises questions of bias.
Now we have Garmin’s take on it: The traffic study published this week by the University of Michigan does not provide a basis for an adequate and objective comparison between traffic functionalities offered on current nüvi devices and products that compete with it.
The results differ substantially from our own internal research and we believe that this is the case due to some fundamental shortcomings in how this study was conducted that challenge its fairness and objectivity.
Tom Tom sponsored the study, and the acknowledgements specifically call out four individuals from Tom Tom and thanks them for their support.
This is even more important considering that the devices were 1.5 to 4 years old.
There is no mention of the software or map versions used on the PNDs in the study.
The most current software includes any bug fixes and or map updates that might resolve problems on older devices. The testing conditions do not resemble the experience a customer would have.