The true innovation of this solution is a feature called Total NAVI, which calculates directions from point A to point B using a combination of transportation methods in one search: walking, driving, riding (trains, subways, ferries, etc), and flying. The search results show routes using a variety of transportation methods, and users can compare and choose among those choices. Turn-by-turn voice navigation is available for both pedestrian and car navigations.
"Pedestrians have long relied on paper maps and print-out directions better suited for driving. Now, using their GPS phones, people can get navigation tailored for travelling on foot" says NAVITIME President Dr. Keisuke Onishi. "We started this service in Tokyo where many people rely on the complex public transportation system to get around. So far we have over 2.5 million paid subscribers across Japan, and this number shows there is great demand for pedestrian navigation. Other large cities around the world share similar transportation issues, so I am excited to launch our service globally."
Currently, subway and train transit navigation are available for Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Other cities and public transportation methods will be updated based on data availability. “Car navigation is available across the United States using Navteq map data and Navteq traffic information”, said Mari Sekine, a spokesperson with the company.
Pricing has not been unveiled yet, but “we expect to define the price at a very competitive level”, added Mr Sekine. The solution currently sells for ¥315 ($3) in Japan. However, Japanese wireless operators are not making huge profits on this kind of solution as operators currently do in Europe and in the United States, which explains this low price - and one of the reasons why this service is so successful.