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Japanese market Honda Civic

Acura RL
Honda joins VW in supporting Google Earth mapping for in-car navigation

Edmunds is reporting that Honda will offer Google Earth Satellite mapping for its InterNavi Premium Club service. As of this writing, the Google Earth portion of the service will only be available to Japanese-market Honda Civics.

Honda's Floating Car Data system, which provides a basis for the advanced navigation sytem, has been in place in Japan since September of 2003. Real-time information including traffic jams and accidents is updated on the vehicle's navigational display. Edmunds adds:

In keeping with the high-style Japanese culture, Honda's system displays traffic information in three colors: blue for smooth traffic, orange for busy and red for congested. The initial service area only extends to 15 miles around the major cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, but Honda says it will soon extend coverage throughout Japan.

North American customers forking over enough money for an Acura RL have already encountered a similar system called AcuraLink (minus the Google Earth mapping). AcuraLink works in conjunction with XM Satellite Radio satellites to provide real-time traffic updates in 20 major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Chicago.

There is no word on when the Google-enhanced system will be available (if at all) in the United States, but it's likely that we see it first on Acura models with it later filtering down to the rest of the Honda lineup. Volkswagen is also working on a similar system with the help of NVIDIA.





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