Of in-car navigation systems

September 7, 2005

Scoble talks about the bugs in in-car navigation systems in his latest blog entry. I have to agree. We own a Honda Pilot and a Toyota Prius, both with navigation systems that are widely disparate in their guidance, user model and their capabilities. The voice navigation on the Prius is a gimmick IMO but certain features like “3 routes” helps you along by giving you control of which route you want to take based on distance and more.

When I have more time, I’ll write an in-depth compare/contrast of the two. In the meantime, here’s a thought for discussion: Why don’t DVD navigation systems support real-time traffic information? It’s about time. Use a mobile data network where free data isn’t available. Now here is a good use for that SPOT technology 🙂

And yes, I traded in my Honda S2000 for a Toyota Prius. I’m paying my dues with a kid-friendly/commute friendly car now that my son is over 2 and it’s impractical to drive our gas-guzzling SUV all over. Call the $2000 tax rebate and savings on gas a downpayment on my next road rocket.

I’ll post more about the Prius later including hacks I’ve found. Time to get Phil Torrone at Make Magazine to hack a Prius to add Media Center 😉

5 responses to Of in-car navigation systems

  1. 

    I agree about the traffic info and the various systems the car makers use. Seems like there are 3 – 6 of them being used by most makers. The Acura RL does have traffic info. Not sure how it works though:
    http://www.acura.com/rl/

  2. 

    I was coming to comment about the Acura RL and see Corey beat me to it. The Acura system using the traffic data sent by the XM satellite radio. XM NavTraffic: http://www.xmradio.com/xmnavtraffic/about.jsp

  3. 

    Hello,

    In Germany, the last car that I rented in a recent travel was a Mercedes-Benz, and it updates dinamycally the route in the navigation system using data received via the radio car.

    It was amazing when the system changed the route in the middle of a trip, due to an accident in the highway (with a really big traffic jam), and drove us away, saving a lot of time.

  4. 

    In response to your traffic question: I’m a frustrated gadget guy because I live with SF Bay Area traffic and my current car navigation system doesn’t take into account traffic which means it is almost useless. When asked if people would be interested in a navigation system in their car that would tell you the fastest route to your destination based on current traffic information. http://www.vizu.com/vote_poll/Business/Grab-bag/Current+Events/Technology/Shopping+%2F+Products/Domestic+US/gps/garmin/magellan/.jsp?n=2801&cId=48 79% of people said they were very interested…so how much longer until this is in our cars?

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