SatNav News 2012-03-05T11:21:43Z WordPress Jo Wilkes <![CDATA[Fancy a bite to eat? Get on your sat nav!]]> 2012-03-05T11:21:43Z 2012-03-05T11:21:43Z With new technology being tested in Japan, users of sat nav devices could soon be able to order meals via their sat navs when they fancy a bite to eat.

These days, many people use their sat nav devices to get around the find their way around in places that they are unfamiliar with. There are many different sat navs to choose from, with both small and large models, high tech and basic models, and ones that come with a range of celebrity voices to keep you entertained whilst you are on the road.

It has been reported recently that experts in Japan are now looking at making sat navs even more useful, as they have developed and are testing a test nav device that enables hungry motorists to order food via their sat nav device! In Japan motorists will be able to use the “Intel Transport System” technology that is used in Japan to select food from a McDonalds menu, with the food chain having been chosen because of the ease of picking up items.

As the technology continues to gain popularity more and more eateries are likely to be added to the system, so drivers may be able to enjoy choosing from a range of dining options if they fancy something to eat. The sat nav can be used to select menu items and pay when the driver is within a couple of kilometers of the restaurant.

Whilst the technology is not available in the UK at the moment, if it proves successful in Japan it is likely that it will be headed this way soon, which will be great for drivers who want to enjoy increased ease and convenience when ordering food whilst on the go.

Jo Wilkes <![CDATA[Insurance premiums could fall with monitoring sat nav]]> 2012-02-20T11:04:09Z 2012-02-20T11:04:09Z It has been revealed that satellite navigation giant TomTom  has signed up with Motaquote insurers to bring a new monitoring sat nav to market, which could help drivers to cut car insurance costs.

As most drivers are only too well aware, the cost of insurance cover has soared over recent years, making it more and more difficult for drivers to run and maintain their vehicles. The cost of cover has become crippling for some drivers, particularly younger drivers with less experience on the road. However, there could be some good news for those who are prepared to take steps to reduce their car insurance cover.

It has been revealed that satellite navigation giant TomTom  has signed up with Motaquote insurers to bring a new monitoring sat nav to market, which could help drivers to cut car insurance costs. The idea behind the sat nav is that drivers will pay lower costs because the sat nav will monitor how they are driving. This will give drivers access to ‘Fair Pay’ insurance.

Drivers who consider themselves to be safe drivers will simply need to sign on with Fair Pay and will be given a special TomTom PRO 3100 sat nav, which will include “Active Driver Feedback” and “LIVE services”.  The data that comes from the sat nav will then help truly safe drivers to get reduced premiums based on their driving rather than on things such as where they live or their age.

Nigel Lombard, MD of Fair Pay Insurance, said: “We’ve dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you’re a good driver, we’ll believe you and we’ll even give you the benefit up front… unlike some other telematics-based schemes where you may have to prove your ability over a number of months.”

Reno <![CDATA[Local Transport Minister calls sat nav summit]]> 2012-01-16T11:07:20Z 2012-01-16T11:05:39Z

It has been announced that the Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, has called a sat nav summit to try and iron out issues relating to out of date or incorrect directions on these devices.

Many of us have heard about or even been involved in incidents involving sat navs providing outdated information and incorrect directions. At best, this can be frustrating and annoying – at worst it can be dangerous and could lead to accidents and injury.

This is something that the government is now looking to tackle, with reports that the Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, has called a sat nav summit that will be attended by a variety of industry experts and groups in a bid to try and iron out these issues.

Baker said: “Out of date directions mean misdirected traffic – a scourge of local communities. It is vital highway authorities, mapping companies and satnav manufacturers work more closely together to provide drivers with accurate, up-to-date information on traffic restrictions such as narrow roads or low bridges. This will help prevent huge lorries from being sent down inappropriate roads and ensure motorists are given the best possible directions. The summit is timely because from April we are allowing local authorities to reclassify roads – ensuring A roads are placed where they want traffic to run and lowering the category of road in places they want traffic to avoid – rather than having to come to Whitehall for approval. These powers will help councils make sure that drivers are using suitable routes.”

Reno <![CDATA[Drivers like sat navs that make their journey more fun]]> 2011-12-02T11:00:11Z 2011-12-02T10:59:28Z

Many sat nav devices can be really dull and dreary in terms of the content and voiceover. However, more and more drivers are now enjoying the light hearted aid of comedy sat navs to liven their journey up.

Having a sat nav is something that has become essential to many drivers these days in order to help them to get around and speed up their journey from A to B. However, many drivers who end up with a standard sat nav find that the content and the voiceover that is used it extremely dull and makes their journey all the more miserable, albeit that it shows them the way.

According to a recent report from motor retail giant Halfords a rising number of people are now opting for comedy sat navs voiced by celebrities, as this helps to brighten up their journey, lighten the mood, and keeps them interested in what the sat nav is telling them rather than boring them into submission!

The retailer said that interest in celebrity voiced comedy sat navs had increased since Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame voiced a Tom Tom device. The retailer has recently added a Homer Simpson sat nav to its range, so drivers can enjoy listening to Homer’s familiar voice along with the various hilarious sayings and mannerisms we have all come to know and love.

An official from Halfords said: “Motorist are looking to introduce a little levity into their journeys. It seems that people do like a voice with a sense of humour and it’s the traditional old favourite phrases that go down best.”

Reno <![CDATA[Conflict of interests mean Clarkson sat nav deal is scrapped]]> 2011-11-07T09:54:56Z 2011-11-07T09:54:56Z It has been revealed that a deal between sat nav manufacturing giant Tom Tom and the BBC has been scrapped due to conflict of interests arising over one of its big stars voicing a sat nav.

There are many sat nav systems that use the voices of stars to tell us which direction to take, bringing a novelty factor to these satellite navigation systems and making them a little more appealing compared to some of the sat navs that use the standard, sometimes droning, voices that are more likely to send us to sleep than to send us in the right direction.

For fans of the programme Top Gear there may have been an exciting new addition coming to the novelty sat nav market in the form of a Tom Tom sat nav voiced by none other than Jeremy Clarkson himself. However, fans who were hoping to get their hands on one of these sat navs will be disappointed to hear that the deal has had to be pulled.

According to reports, the BBC has been forced to pull out of the deal with the sat nav manufacturing giant because of a conflict of interests, where Clarkson was not allowed to endorse car related products because of his role in the Top Gear programme.

However, there is a slight problem in that Tom Tom has already been delivering the product to stores for sale before the agreement had even been finalised. A BBC spokesman said: “In order to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest in the minds of viewers, BBC Worldwide and TomTom have agreed that all monies that would have been due to BBC Worldwide will be paid to BBC Children in Need together with an additional charitable donation by TomTom.”

Richard <![CDATA[Rising number of people suffering from ’sat nav rage’]]> 2011-10-07T09:42:36Z 2011-10-07T09:42:36Z A recent report compiled from a survey of British drivers has shown that a rising number of people are now experiencing what has become known as ’sat nav rage’.

Most people these days have heard of road rage and may even be someone that regularly experiences road rage. However, there is now a new form of ‘rage’ for drivers to experience whilst they are on the road – ’sat nav rage’ which seems to come with the territory for those that have the popular dashboard devices.

A recent study was carried out amongst two thousand drivers in the UK, with a combination of both male and female drivers being polled. The study showed that a massive sixty percent of people who used sat nav devices had lost their tempers with the devices.

One of the ways in which drivers were found to take out their anger and frustration regarding their sat navs was to shout and swear at the device whilst they were driving. A number of things were found to particularly annoy drivers, which included voiceovers that they found to be annoying, being given unclear directions, having dated maps and being take on unnecessary trips.

Around 47 percent of those polled said that they had a love hate relationship with their sat nav devices. A fifth said that they often became angry with the sat nav whilst one tenth said that they got angry or stressed with every journey that they went on.

Source - RAC

Richard <![CDATA[Garmin unveils range of new Nuvi sat nav devices]]> 2011-09-15T10:24:55Z 2011-09-15T10:24:55Z Satellite navigation giant Garmin has recently announced a range of new products in its Nuvi sat nav range, which are expected to hit the shelves at the start of next year.

Sat nav products have become more high tech and more affordable over recent years, with a number of satellite navigation specialist firms bringing out a great choice and range of products that are designed to meet the needs of different types of users and consumers, from those looking for basic sat nav devices to those that want something that is more advanced.

Pretty soon consumers in the UK could be looking forward to an even wider choice of sat nav products from one of the satellite navigation giants Garmin, which has recently announced a wide range of additions to its Nuvi sat nav products range. This means that people will find it even easier to get just what they want in terms of their satellite navigation needs.

The sat nav giant has announced the release of a variety of sat navs covering systems for basic, intermediate and advanced needs. These will be made available under three different ranges to reflect the purpose of the different systems, which will be Essential, Advanced and Premium.

Garmin’s Director of Product Management, Clive Taylor, said: “We are proud to bring out a complete range of new products: Essential, Advanced and Premium. These showcase 3D traffic, and new levels of Guidance which makes the navigation experience quick and simple, more intuitive, easier and faster.”

Source - Pocket GPS World

Jo Wilkes <![CDATA[Despite Breakthrough Gadgets, Sat Navs Will Hold Strong]]> 2011-09-09T14:27:33Z 2011-09-09T14:26:05Z 123Despite Breakthrough Gadgets, Sat Navs Will Hold Strong

As smartphone and tablet technology is pushed to the limit, mobile manufacturers would like the world to think that these devices can carry out any job imaginable. A smartphone can capture video one moment and act as a GPS the next. What this really results in is lower-quality videos and somewhat unpredictable directions as most mobile technology relies on spotty signals in high mobility situations. For manufacturers of dedicated sat navs, this means that their uni-tasking devices still have a place in the market.

Performance Unparalleled
One of the key features that can make smartphones and tablets unreliable as directional GPS units is their lack of dedicated maps. These mobile devices rely on a 3G or 4G connection while on the move to continually update maps and directions. Unfortunately, download speeds in high mobility situations are unpredictable at best.

Sat nav units have been pre-installed with global maps that can be quickly downloaded and updated via a hard line connection to a computer or a wireless connection with a satellite. For many drivers, this is enough reason to push for a Sat Nav device to complement their smartphone or tablet. Luckily for these customers, companies such as TomTom have decided they are going to stay true to their portable navigation devices (PNDs) and at the same time take a page from social media to make their products more appealing.
Getting Connected

Sometimes, travelers are looking for just a little something more than directions. They are looking to remain connected with friends, find the best places to go in town, and book their reservations ahead of time. This is why TomTom and other manufacturers have begun working with titans such as Yelp, Expedia, and Google to make their GPS units a PND and so much more. At the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, owners of these devices will be able to search out their favorite restaurants by customer rating and then request an early check-in at their hotel a moment later.

TomTom has also worked alongside Twitter to offer a handful of new features with their next generation of navigational units. Drivers will be able to update others on their location and estimated time of arrival without constant phone calls or text messages. While even the management of TomTom is predicting as much as a 20% drop in sales over the next year, it seems that sat navs will hold strong with a few of these tricks up their sleeves.

Guest author David Novak of new gadgets website TheGadgetGuyColumn shares his insight on the future of Sat Nav.

Note: Photo courtesy of mikebabcock via FlickR Creative Commons.

Jo Wilkes <![CDATA[More Deals and Options for Sat Nav Buyers]]> 2011-09-06T20:26:50Z 2011-09-06T20:23:37Z tomtomUsers of satellite navigation now have more options than ever before thanks to some rather interesting market trends. The line dividing personal navigation devices (PNDs) and smartphones is becoming blurrier every day. That’s because the popularity of mobile devices such as iPhones/iPads and Androids have prompted many sat nav providers to offer applications compatible with such devices.

TomTom recently announced that they have released their own app for Apple’s iPad, adding to their existing app for the iPhone. The release comes on the heels of falling sales of physical PNDs and the rising sales of smartphone devices.

This is not necessarily bad for businesses like TomTom or even consumers for that matter. The change is opening doors for the company that may not have been seen even a few years ago, and consumers can reap the benefits. New PNDs will be “connected” through cellular networks to services like Yelp, Expedia, Trip Advisor, and Twitter. Yes, we said Twitter. The new devices can be setup to announce travel plans, future destinations, and even travel times. TomTom is calling the new features “apps” in keeping with smartphone lingo, and apps like Yelp can help consumers find user reviews for potential destinations in more highly categorized areas (bars, nightclubs, etc).

These new releases and upgrades come with an added benefit: falling prices. As PND carriers shift slowly to wireless internet for their future endeavors, current devices will reap the benefits of smartphone focus in a sat nav device, all while sales slowly decline and companies look to make personal navigation devices more attractive.

Finding deals on satellite navigation devices is going to be easier to do as more and more users adopt smartphones as part of their daily lives. With features on the rise and prices on the decline, now may be the best time for consumers looking for money-saving options in sat nav.

Guest author Ross Fraser from money saving website Peazyshop offers his insight into sat nav deals for consumers.

Note: Photo courtesy of padsbrother via FlickR Creative Commons.

Jo Wilkes <![CDATA[TomTom to get valuable data from Highways Agency for consumers]]> 2011-08-12T13:48:19Z 2011-08-12T13:48:19Z Satellite navigation system giant TomTom is to be fed important traffic updates direct from the Highways Agency, which will keep road users better informed.

It has been reported that the satellite navigation giant TomTom is to be fed information from the Highways Agency which will then allow consumers to get access to valuable road traffic information when they are on the road. The up to date information will come from all major roads and motorways across England and will keep road users far better informed whilst they are out and about.

With many families set to head off on various trips over the summer months it is thought that this information will prove highly beneficial. The roads minister Mike Penning said: “Through our national traffic control centre, we source up to the minute traffic data from the motorways and other major roads we manage, and we want to get that information out to road users where and when they need it most. This agreement between the Highways Agency and TomTom is a good example of public and private sectors working together to assist road users and exploit today’s technology.”

He added: “We work with third party organisations to get our information to as wide an audience as possible. We have also shared our information with GoogleMapsTM and the BBC who provide our traffic camera images so road users can check on the internet before they leave. We look forward to working with other partners in the future.”

TomTom is said to be the only sat nav company to partner with the Highways Agency so far but the agency said that it is currently in discussions with another provider.

Source - Public Service