Sure, the dedicated GPS business has taken a hit from factory-installed in-vehicle systems and the ever-popular smartphone with assisted GPS, but that doesn’t mean TomTom is giving up the fight: the company has just announced that its Via series of automotive GPS units are now available in North America, padding out the company’s mid-range offerings.
Originally introduced back in January at CES, the Via series comprises six series: the Via 1400, Via 1405, and Via 1435 series, all featuring 4.3-inch displays, and the Via 1500, Via 1505, and Via 1535 series. All the new models feature a new slim design with touchscreen interfaces, an updated software platform, and safety-enhancing features like optional hands-free Bluetooth calling and (in the 1435 and 1535) “Intuitive Voice Recognition” that enables users to input destinations and issue commands without taking hands off the wheel.
Different models come with different map packages, with the higher-end units featuring built-in maps of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and the lower-end models omitting Mexico. Users will also have the option to purchase any of the units with lifetime maps or traffic info: the map package includes up to four map updates per year until the units “useful life expires;” the lifetime traffic service only applies to the U.S. and Canada.
TomTom says the Via GPS series should eb available now, with suggested prices beginning at $169.