Last Friday I was in North Wales for the UK launch of the new BMW 6-series coupe. At the press conference, it was mentioned in passing that the car gets 'BMW Professional' sat-nav, which included live traffic updates.

It would have been easy to have let that go as unremarkable, because many sat-nav systems promise live updates of traffic conditions. However, what BMW calls 'Real Time Traffic Information' is a genuine revolution.

The 6-series' sat-nav screen uses colour-coding for the main roads to indicate the speed of the traffic. Green shows that it is flowing normally. Yellow shows traffic slowing, amber means slow and red means traffic is at a standstill. It can also determine the traffic flow on opposite sides of the road.