FollowMe portable navigation unit from Toyota and TomTomEnlarge Photo
Those are among the many interesting findings from the navigation-services company TeleNav. Beginning in December of last year, TeleNav started keeping detailed word-based data about destinations and points of interest for its users. Though privacy was maintained and the data can't be linked to specific users, it does reveal some noteworthy differences in how people in different cities and regions of the country use their nav systems.
Not surprisingly, Walmart was the most popular search destination for those with TeleNav systems, followed closely by Starbucks, then Target and Best Buy.
That's of course among major franchises and chains. For general searches related to types of food, 'pizza' was the single most popular food type, followed by 'Chinese' and 'burgers.'
TeleNav systems, along with many other OEM or aftermarket nav systems, now provide real-time traffic-rerouting options, and the company has data on that, too: Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Chicago; and Atlanta were among the cities with the highest use of traffic-rerouting functions.
Users in Phoenix and San Antonio, along with Cleveland and Detroit, were among the most likely to shop around for the cheapest gasoline using real-time pump-price information.
Overall, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts were the most frequent users of GPS guidance, with Maryland TeleNav users using guidance for twice as many trips per month than average. However, users in Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Chicago made more searches for local points of interest than those in other major cities.
The data was gathered from more than 13 million subscribers across the country, with mobile-phone users making up the largest portion.
TeleNav says that the data will be used to help identify (and improve) the features that are most used in its services.