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BMW develops microNavigation, augments in-car GPS with downloadable microMaps


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BMW develops microNavigation, augments in-car GPS with downloadable microMaps

by Sam Abuelsamid (RSS feed) on Jun 17th 2010 at 9:00AM

That ultra-expensive in-dash navigation system can be a huge help when finding a destination in an unfamiliar area. Unfortunately, if you're just a visitor, it might not be clear where to park your car or enter the building once you get there. Current navigation systems, both in-dash and hand-held types, have limited databases of such detailed information.

That's why BMW is developing a microNavigation system called Pathfinder to supplement the data stored onboard the car. Pathfinder allows you to download more detailed information about your destination in the form of a MicroMap to a memory card before you leave the house. When the card is inserted into the car, the data is added to the built-in navigation information. The more detailed information can even work with a camera used for lane departure warning to tell the driver which lane they should be in to catch ramps and entries to highways or parking structures.

Once the car is parked, the data can be transferred to a smartphone or other mobile device for the final leg of the trip. The phone can guide you directly to your destination and in can even remember where you parked. When more vehicles are offered with their own mobile data connections, this data could even be downloaded directly straight to the car on the fly. Of course, all of this requires the creation of far more detailed maps than exist today, and it's not clear if current map data providers will produce these microMaps. Google Is incorporating much of this information from its search index, however, and following its recent deals with Ford and General Motors' OnStar, it could soon be the default provider for every automaker.



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