TomTom offers free HD Traffic widget

HD Traffic, as seen on the TomTom 940 Live, now available as free widget
HD Traffic, as seen on the TomTom 940 Live, now available as free widget

How much traffic does your social networking page get? Maybe a little more if you pop a free HD Traffic widget from TomTom on there.

The sat nav company today announced traffic jam widgets for social networking sites for Facebook, Bebo and iGoogle that display the latest traffic delays on pre-set route, or in your region, in both minutes and miles.

TomTom's HD Traffic system uses anonymised data from 16.7 million mobile users on Vodafone's networks in the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland to generate real-time traffic alerts on motorways and some major arterial roads across Europe.

Navigation for all

"TomTom's HD Traffic information has been personalised so it can be added easily to users' favourite web pages, providing continuous updates of the latest traffic situation at a glance," said Corinne Vigreux, TomTom's managing director. "It illustrates our commitment to making TomTom's leading traffic service available to as many people as possible."

It's an interesting move on the part of TomTom, which currently charges £8 a month for access to HD Traffic, Google searches and local fuel pricing on its LIVE range of in-car sat navs.

By offering the service for free on social network pages, anyone with an all-you-can-surf data tariff and a GPS-equipped handset (such as an Apple iPhone) will be able to use TomTom's flagship service for nothing.

Users in any of the HD Traffic covered countries can go to to install the HD Traffic widget.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.