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AUTOMOTIVE / NAVIGATION

Navman's "Greatest Leap" In GPS Navigation

By Tony Ibrahim | Wednesday | 01/08/2012

Navman has released a new GPS range that, they believe, features one of the 'greatest leaps' in GPS navigation.

With a build-up like that, you'd imagine the GPS transforms into Optimus Prime, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Rather, the innovation spruiked by Navman is simply conversation-style directions. Could the next leap in GPS technology be so simple?

Is Less, More?

Research commissioned by Navman indicated people are barraged with information when driving. Sharing information that is relevant and presented in an easy-to-understand way is definitely a step ahead of the arithmetic instructions dictated by other GPS systems.

The voice guided navigation takes notes of a person's surroundings and incorporates local landmarks and points of interests. "Before the Coca Cola sign turn right into Victoria Street" is just one example.

Navman also commissioned an independent survey that involved showing drivers footage of streetscape that featured a car dealership, (the same car dealership is in Navman's Landmark Guidance). Participants were asked to look out for road signs and other landmarks in an effort to identify the street they would need to turn in to. 86% of the participants missed the street in the video, while 84% noticed the car dealership.  

When designing their new range, Navman prioritised safety. Roughly 20 per cent of the drivers surveyed said 'they would be unlikely' to take a break after 2 hours of straight driving, but 60 per cent of them would change their mind if they were guided to the nearest rest stop. As a result, Navman's Driver Fatigue alert now offers a range of options where people can take their break.

Fruits of their Labour

Navman released two new GPS ranges, their MYseries and EZYrange.

The MY range is populated with the MY300LMT and the MY350LMT, which are both 5" touchscreen units that feature Bluetooth and lifetime map updates. The MY350 is the top of the range as it has premium driver alerts AV-in and comes with a complimentary AV-in cable.

Although the company's EZY range scored some new features, Navman is adamant the additions haven't made the beginner series any more difficult to use. The EZY100T (4.3") and the EZY200 (5") make up the range, with the latter featuring in built Bluetooth and live point of interest search and dialling.

The full feature rundown following was provided by Navman in their official press communication.

The new Navman 2012 MY Series include the following new features and capabilities:

· Lifetime maps- the MY300LMT and the MY350LMT come with lifetime maps so Navman users can get up-to-date maps, released every quarter, with the latest information about red light, safety and combined cameras - giving them up to $400 worth of value each year!

· Improved premium driver alerts -in the MY350LMT, even more potentially hazardous areas have been flagged, such as areas with a sharp bend ahead, a steep incline or decline and an overtaking lane coming up, when the road narrows, known animal crossings or roads that are dangerous in icy or wet weather.

· Improved driver fatigue alerts - if you have been driving continuously for two hours, the device will warn you and can tell you about all possible options to make a stop nearby, such as petrol stations, public restrooms, food outlets or rest areas.

· Improved traffic information - Navman was the first GPS company to offer free lifetime Live Traffic subscription in its devices.  This year, its traffic feature from SUNA is even better with live traffic updates streamed continuously and all messages updated approximately every 30 seconds. Live traffic is now incorporated into the estimated time of arrival and data is updated continuously.

· Voice destination entry - you can give even more spoken commands now, such as adjusting the volume and brightness of the device.

· Smart volume - the volume on the device increases in increments the faster you travel.

· Improved SmartFind searches - the super-convenient SmartFind keyword search function will not only search from a database of street addresses and POIs, but will also include any information from Navman guides such as the Lonely Planet Guides, Wcities Guide, Lonely Planet Scenic Routes and the AAAT guide.

Additional features of the 2012 EZY range include:

· Instructions in Cantonese and Mandarin

· A Logbook to help you keep a record of journeys and mileage - handy for tax time

· Navman's Smart Route option that uses historical traffic date to provide drivers with the best route to avoid traffic congestion at any given day and time

· Spoken street names

· Tunnel simulation so the driver's GPS signal won't be interrupted when travelling through tunnels

· SUNA Live Traffic updates can also be added to the EZY200 model

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