Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network recently announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with BMW to provide traffic data to navigation systems offered on select 2007 BMW models, including the X5, M5, M6 and the 3, 5 and 6 Series models. The navigation system, equipped with Clear Channel's award-winning traffic service, will become available as early as mid-September, making BMW of North America the first U.S. auto manufacturer to offer real-time traffic as a standard, lifetime service feature on navigation-equipped vehicles.
"This is a significant milestone for Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network as BMW is the first to supply its automotive customers with lifetime traffic information, potentially setting a new standard for terms of service with other auto manufacturers down the road," said Jeff Littlejohn, executive vice president of distribution development for Clear Channel Radio. "We consider this agreement with BMW, the leader in automotive quality and innovation, to be the biggest endorsement of our traffic network to date."
"BMW has offered traffic information linked to our navigation system in Europe for several years. Thanks to Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network, BMW can now confidently offer its customers in the U.S. a similar technology," said Alan Harris, vice president of aftersales for BMW of North America.
Total Traffic Network's real-time traffic data, covering 44 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., will be included as part of the cost of the navigation system so there are no monthly fees. The growing list of services currently using Total Traffic Network's real-time reports include: Garmin International, Nextel, Verizon SMS, Kenwood Electronics, Tom Tom Navigator GPS, MSN Autos, MapPoint, Cingular QPass, ATX, AAA, Rand McNally, Weatherbug, Microsoft SPOT, Siemens VDO, AudioVox, Mio Technology and Cobra.
In addition to a broad array of portable GPS devices, Garmin International now provides the traffic information to subscribers with Nextel and Sprint mobile phones via Garmin Mobile.
In July, Avis and Budget Car Rental, the world's second-largest car-rental business, announced that their "Where 2" in car navigation would include Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network data used in conjunction with Garmin C550 navigators to alert drivers to traffic accidents, road construction and weather delays and route them around the problems.