MapQuest’s Navigator has been updated to version 5.0, including new features like gas prices and station locations, guides to what’s going on in your city, and live traffic updates. Audio turn-by-turn driving instructions is also new, along with a new interface that lets you switch between front-facing and above-ground views. Although that’s all sounding pretty old hat compared to the competition, MapQuest is also letting you search locations, plot routes and push them all to your handheld from the desktop. Not too shabby. They’re asking $4.99/month until the end of December, which is half off their usual rate. If you’re looking to try out the GPS on that newfangled BlackBerry 8130, you can sign up to Navigator over here, or get more details here.
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The fine folks at Virtual Reach have added a bunch of U.S. traffic alert channels to their Viigo thanks to Traffic.com, giving you up-to-date congestion information for major American cities. Those of us north of the border are out of luck, but we still have DRIVES in the works. If you’re already packing Viigo, just hit Add a Channel and cruise on over to Cool Feeds & Useful Services. Some pretty sweet stuff is in the works for Viigo next month, so stick around.
We just got word about Globis Data, who are opening the doors to a beta for their WAP-based traffic information service, DRIVES. Right now only Montreal and Toronto are covered, but keep an eye out for Ottawa and Calgary soon. It might not be much to look at, but this information is updated once every couple of minutes, which is pretty impressive. It uses cell signals to determine the speed of cars along particular streets, so you can see what’s moving slowly and what’s cruising. Since it’s all browser-based, it’s easy enough to keep your area of town bookmarked for easy access. So any drivers in Montreal or Toronto, give it a shot by accessing www.globisdata.ca/d2m5/bb_eng/welcome.html from your mobile browser and let us know how it fares.