Finding a free parking spot is one of the current problems in crowded cities. BMW seems to have already thought about a solution to this: a micro-navigation technology incorporated into a prototype version of BMW’s ConnectedDrive navigation. The concept was presented during BMW Group Innovation Days; apparently, BMW is working on it for three years.
The system is helping drivers to find the nearest available parking lot, based on accurate information, stored in the micro-maps of the device. For all this, no GPS is needed and the information can be relayed on driver’s mobile device, so that to show him the precise location of the vehicle upon return.
So, BMW is serious about taking part in the development of the next generation of cars.
How much does it take you to find a free parking spot?
Today we’ll have a talk about radar detectors and about Escorts Passport iQ, one of the two devices that combine radar detector function with a navigation system. So, it’s a two-in-one device.
How could this combined device be a good thing and help you while driving? Well, because despite alerts about radars, the device alerts you, for example, whenever you are entering a 25-mph school zone and you’re going too fast; it tells you when there are red-light cameras that you should be aware of. It provides you with speed camera and speed trap data, and also with speed data covering all the backroads and highways – you can set the speed limit from which to start receiving alerts and the radar options, in case you want to be activated at a certain speed over the speed limit.
In addition to this, the navigation system offers you the routes to different locations and presents the “speed traps” on the way (you can add locations to the list of stores and restaurants already included in device’s database and set the “favorite” ones).
The price one should pay for getting this device: $649.95.
What do you think now about “two-in-one” radar detector?
Nowadays, each car in the market comes with built-in GPS systems, which help disoriented drivers not to get lost and also to look for alternative routes to avoid traffic jams. This technological system is one of the greatest inventions of our times, but what about the “future” times? We all know that electric vehicles are the new trend in cars, and apparently the current GPS systems don’t go well together, because the latter are designed to be used only in gasoline cars.
In addition to this, many routes displayed by the current generation of in-car satellite navigation systems don’t take into account energy efficient routes. For example, 100 mile range electric cars are barely capable of 50 on steep inclines and fast roads (routes which demand larger amounts of power from an electric car’s battery pack), which can delay your EV’s cross-country trip quite a lot.
This is why the Japanese electronics company, Pioneer, has developed AVIC-ZH09-MEV Satellite Navigation System, which they claim to be the first ever on the market satellite system for electric vehicles. What this GPS system brings in addition to the conventional ones is the route planning based on energy consumption, driving style and the charging stations available in the area.
What other options do you think this GPS system for EV should have in order to improve even more the driving of electric cars?
Renault recently fitted its one-millionth in-car Carminat TomTom navigation system in two years.
Today, more than one in two Renaults sold worldwide is equipped with Carminat TomTom.
LIVE services offer customers the full benefit of intelligent, connected navigation coupled with innovative services and real-time information.
At €490, Carminat TomTom is the least expensive and best selling integrated and connected navigation system on the market.
Renault recently topped the one-million mark in vehicles equipped with a Carminat TomTom navigation system and is announcing an unprecedented fit rate of 38% on Clio, 77% on Scénic and 25% on Trafic.
Carminat TomTom is available today on all Renault passenger cars (apart from Modus, Twingo and Wind) and since early 2010 on all the brand’s light commercial vehicles.
Faithful to its tradition of ingenious innovations that are accessible to all, Renault started working on an integrated navigation system back in 1982. It launched its first road trials on the Carminat system in 1994, becoming the first carmaker to propose fully embedded navigation systems. The systems were upgraded in 2002 with dynamic route guidance and the recalculation of journey times, for example in the case of a drop in vehicle speed.
In partnership with the leader in personal navigation solutions, Renault is enhancing flexibility and time to market while bringing customers excellent ergonomics by fully integrating the navigation system in the vehicle.
Launched in spring 2009, Carminat TomTom is upgraded continuously for ever more efficiency. Carminat TomTom received two new functions in early 2010: IQ Routes™, proposing the best route plan according to real vehicle speed and journey times based on statistics calculated every moment every day of the week, and Advanced Lane Guidance, which visualizes intersections and traffic lanes.
Navigation took a big step forward in terms of driver support in late 2010 with the launch of the Carminat TomTom LIVE. The entire Renault range is now available with four innovative connected services as options:
- HD Traffic: for the best traffic information in real time.
- Road safety alerts: real-time alerts on incidents, dangerous areas and risk areas.
- Google local search: shows points of interest from nearly 20 million references.
- 5-day weather forecasts.
Commenting, Giles Shrimpton, CEO of TomTom Automotive, said: “We are extremely happy to announce that the one millionth Carminat TomTom has been fitted on board a Renault vehicle. This figure is tangible proof of the success of our product and our partnership with Renault. We plan to continue this partnership with Renault in the long term by bringing our customer the best of our expertise.”
Stephen Norman, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing at Renault, said: “One million Renault owners have since 2009 chosen an in-dash Carminat TomTom navigation system. Today, for just €490, this intelligent on-board system brings customers connected services that are highly appreciated and hard to go without once you have experienced their quality.
Founded in 1991, TomTom is the world’s leading supplier of location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world’s best navigation experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has over 3,500 employees and sells its products in over 40 countries.
TomTom offers portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, fleet management solutions, maps and real-time services, including the award winning HD TrafficTM.
For the world’s most up-to-date route planner, including live traffic information please visit http://www.routes.tomtom.com/
For further information, please visit www.tomtom.com
Present on all continents with over 30 production sites and 18,000 business sites in 118 countries, Renault designs, produces and sells a broad range of innovative vehicles that with each new generation are increasingly safe and more respectful of the environment. The company is pursuing its strategy of profitable growth with associate brands Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors. Renault has a workforce of 121,000 worldwide. In 2010 it reported revenues of €38,971 million and sold over 2.6 million vehicles.
Orientation in space is a natural problem for women (as they can’t really figure out where to go or how to get to a specific location) and a matter of pride for men (as they hardly ask for indications when they don’t find a place). So, both situations actually generate passengers’ disputes and, if necessary, GPS-related disputes.
According to a study made by the UK insurance retailer Swinton, when it comes to using the navigation system and orientation in space, men are more likely than women to disobey the directions given by their car GPS, as a conformation of the fact that men hate recognizing they are lost and asking for directions. 83 percent of men from the 3,000 polled users of navigation systems declared to have ignored the nav system’s indications at least once, compared to less than 75 percent for women.
The study also revealed the fact that one-third of all participants surveyed consider their navigation system had led them between one and five kilometres astray, which caused different types and levels of fight with the passengers in the car.
“A sat nav should aid your own navigational abilities rather than replace them”
said Steve Chelton, Insurance Development Manager at Swinton. She also considers perfectly motivated the drivers’ mistrust to the global positioning systems. Drivers’ solution to that: almost two-thirds keep an old paper map in the car too, just in case.
Do you think this survey really reflects the actual situation of drivers’ attitude and habit while being behind the wheel?