Garmin upgrades nüvi range: lifetime traffic, 3D cities, lane assist



Garmin nüvi 765 with 3D-like view
Garmin nüvi 765 with 3D-like view
Garmin today announced in the United States a refreshment of its nüvi line-up of personal navigation devices (PND) with both new low end and high end devices. In the lower end, the nüvi 265T, 265WT and 275T enhance upon their 2x5-series predecessors with Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling and offer free traffic information. All models have text to speech to announce street names in their voice prompts.

In the higher end of the range, Garmin unveiled the nüvi 755T, 765T and 775T which also come standard with a traffic receiver that provides lifetime traffic alerts. Additionally they now have “lane assist”, a feature that was once a trademark of Navigon, and then copied by TomTom: helping the driver to figure out which lane to be in for future maneuvers. Pretty similar to the Nav N Go urban 3D view, Garmin also introduced “a 3-D transparent view of buildings […], giving drivers a more realistic depiction of their location”.

The nüvi 765T adds Bluetooth for hands-free calling and also supports an audio amplifier for a stereo Bluetooth connection. For transatlantic travel, nüvi 775T adds mapping of North America and Europe. The nüvi 785T features an MSN Direct receiver with trial subscription that includes the usual MSN treat: traffic conditions, fuel prices, weather reports, movie listings, etc...

Garmin upgrades nüvi range: lifetime traffic, 3D cities, lane assist
Lifetime traffic through RDS-TMC
With all these new PNDs boasting lifetime traffic alerts from NAVTEQ Traffic, this is a serious leap forward for real-time traffic information in the United States, especially having in mind that the Kansas-based company commands half of the market. So far the attachment rate of traffic services to PNDs has been under 5%. If Garmin’s competitors follow up there are likely to be millions of traffic-enabled PNDS under the Christmas tree in North America.

This is a very good news for Navteq Traffic and not so good for Clear Channel Total Traffic Networks which loses an important client. However, Garmin has demonstrated – notably in the United Kingdom with Trafficmaster and ITIS - that it can use several providers at the same time for different products.


Wednesday, August 27th 2008


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