Avoid traffic jams? The TMC system.

Navi RNS 510 from VWThe further you travel, the higher the likelihood of getting caught in a traffic jam. Often there are only small traffic jams that only take a few minutes due to construction sites. If things go badly, however, motorways can also be completely closed due to serious accidents – all cars then have to continue via a single detour. Luckily, the TMC system or navigation system that can recognize and avoid traffic jams has been around for many years:

How can my navigation system recognize a traffic jam?

Most navigation systems “recognize” traffic jams by listening to the radio, so to speak: Like the car itself, they have a radio tuner and receive the current traffic data via the so-called TMC system. This is the same data that the radio stations announce in the news. If the navigation system recognizes that you are traveling on a route for which a traffic jam is forecast, it tries to avoid this traffic obstruction as cleverly as possible.

Weaknesses of the automatic traffic jam bypass

One annoying weakness of the TMC system has always been that traffic jam reports displayed in the navigation system were no longer up-to-date. This has to do with the fact that the police first reports an accident or a car driver reports a traffic jam to the radio station. It then takes time for the station to broadcast this message. Then there is an additional delay before the navigation system has also noticed this message. It can therefore often happen that the traffic jams reported by the navigation system are no longer there.

Use the traffic jam bypass!

Many drivers, especially those who are not tech-savvy, get angry when they think their navigation system is going crazy because it predicts traffic jams where there aren’t any. To be on the safe side, use the following setting: You should deactivate the “dynamic traffic jam avoidance”. Because then the system first asks whether it should avoid a traffic jam at all. Of course, it is always worthwhile to read test reports on how quickly and reliably the detour function of the respective device works before buying a navigation system.


Especially on longer journeys, as described here, you should find out any traffic jams before you set off. Before you blindly trust the navigation system’s traffic jam avoidance system, you should always listen to the radio to see whether traffic jams are actually predicted for the route in question or whether they are still up to date. However, you should definitely use the traffic jam avoidance function: With it, the device always calculates the quickest and best route around you.


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