CeBIT: Navigon unveils new PNDs, navigation software

CeBIT: Navigon unveils new PNDs, navigation software
At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover today, German navigation provider Navigon unveiled a new range of Personal Navigation Devices and new navigation software.

Navigon is launching a complete new range from low to high end with five different units: Navigon 1300, 2300, 3300 Max, 4300T Max, 7300T, but rather than the hardware line up itself, the most interesting news are lying in the software. Like it did in the past with features such as “reality view” which have been copied by TomTom and Garmin, Navigon is showing up today some clever software improvements.

MyRoute, one of the features of this new software, provides up to three route choices with distance and ETA calculated for all entered destinations, factoring in speed limits, construction and traffic as the user is driving. All routes are displayed on a map with ETA and driving time giving the driver a choice.

“The system continuously saves the driver's individual driving data in order to provide the best individual route possible and recommends a route based on the user's driving habits, the day of week and time of travel”, said NAVIGON. But the German company does not particularly describe which user’s driving habits are taken into consideration and how it will modify the routing algorithm.

Nearest or cheapest car park?
Another new feature called “Clever Parking” helps drivers when inputting their destination to select a car park and then directs them to it once they are approaching their destination. The "Parking" button then appears in place of the "Traffic" button. One click is sufficient to call up the nearest car parks on the display screen and to get information on where and how far away these are as well as their contact details, opening times and even prices (prices only available for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and United Kingdom). Drivers can therefore choose not only the nearest parking but also the cheapest.

Enhanced voice recognition and text to speech
The high end NAVIGON 7300T “boasts Professional Voice Command”, which allows more than speech input in the form of single words such as "louder", "quieter" or "map". It also understands the driver when he speaks in freely formulated sentences. This applies to the menu controls and when setting the volume. The intelligent system will therefore increase the volume if the driver says, "I can't hear anything!" or "I am particularly comfortable at Level 8!". “It is even possible to alter which section of map is currently displayed by giving commands such as "Up a bit!" or "Go down!", explained NAVIGON.

In addition, NAVIGON has improved its real-time traffic offering with text to speech, which means traffic updates are spoken instead of just being displayed on the screen with a warning sound.

As a whole, this new version of the NAVIGON software adds more value on a market that is - more than ever – looking for differentiation.

Monday, March 2nd 2009

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