Driving just got safer, and a whole lot easier. The Herald reported yesterday that the idea of talking to an in-car satellite navigation system using a smartphone is now real. The new Smart GPS has landed in New Zealand and creator NavMan says it will change the public’s outlook on what an in-car GPS system can do.
Combining the intelligent functions of a smartphone and GPS, they say the NavMan Smart GPS is the start of a new era for NavMan and for the marketplace. With prices ranging from $349 to $399, the Smart GPS is able to connect and share information with laptops, smartphones, home computers and other technological devices which support Apple iOS and Android platforms. Instead of a conventional GPS in which users have to seek information, the NavMan Smart GPS automatically offers real-time information on screen, much like a smartphone. Navman’s technology cloud allows information and addresses to be stored and then pushed out to Smart GPS devices. Thanks to the cloud people can search for an address on their smartphone and send it to the Smart GPS. So when they turn on their device the address and route are already programmed in. It can also:
– receive addresses from family and friends who are linked to the cloud
– receive information from social media,displayed on the GPS when on the move
– display reviews and special deals from places in the area from platforms such as Foursquare and MenuMania, which are integrated in the device
– pair your phone through the Smart GPS app so you can save points of interest when out walking, which are then relayed to the GPS and stored as a to-do list
– detect traffic cameras, roadworks and school zones
– keep track of petrol prices
– update maps for the unit quarterly, and live traffic alerts every 30 seconds
– completely eliminate car accidents, panelbeaters, and a need for car insurance (no, just kidding with that one)
While this function is available for the Australian market, New Zealanders will have to wait a bit longer (no surprises there!) as NavMan are still trying to find an NZ supplier but with notable outlets already taking stock, we should see the Navman Smart GPS on shelves throughout New Zealand within a month.
However people hoping for Knight Rider-style fully automated driving will have to wait a little longer.