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Automakers are shifting from $2000 nav systems to smartphone-connected methods

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have posed serious threats to many different industries. For instance, many people don't bother with landlines because of their smartphones; some gamers have stopped paying for expensive consoles/games and opted for game apps, and those who don't want to make a trip to the bookstore can download the entire thing on their device right from home. 

Now, the auto industry's dashboard navigation systems are seeing mobile applications as a threat to their profitable business as well. Many automakers offer pricey embedded navigation systems that run anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Navigation apps found in app stores for the iPhone, Android-powered smartphones, Windows Phones, etc. typically cost a few bucks, or are even free. 

Which do you think consumers are going to opt for?

While auto navigation systems offer beautiful graphics and larger screens, they have their faults. Aside from expensive prices, a lot of these systems run on pre-made DVDs instead of the Internet. This means that they don't run real-time updates, and to have this software updated means a time-consuming trip to the dealership.

Mobile apps, on the other hand, are cheap (or free) and are Web-based -- meaning that any changes to your surroundings while driving will be updated almost immediately. 


Tim Nixon, chief technology officer of General Motors' OnStar service, noticed his son using a suction cup to stick his iPhone to the windshield while he used a free maps app. Ouch. 

This has led GM to consider a new model: a $50 map application for iPhones, which will display directions on the dashboard touchscreen of a Chevrolet Spark.

"We've historically had these on-board, embedded nav systems," Nixon said. "That's just not going to cut it anymore. The game has changed and the bar has been raised by these always-connected devices that bring fresh information into the car."

It looks like other automakers are looking to make their navigation systems compatible with smartphones, too. Ford said that smartphones and navigation systems alone aren't "perfect solutions," but together, they could be.  

An undisclosed Japanese automaker has even paired with Waze, which is a free social GPS app that has turn-by-turn navigation to help drivers avoid traffic, and is also a community-driven application that draws information from drivers ahead of you, and even learns from users' driving times to provide routing and real-time traffic updates. It was acquired by Google last month for $1.3 billion. 

Ventures like the one with Waze could one day lead to technology where car systems will report weather to the app based on usage of windshield wipers and other features. 

Automakers should probably start taking the mobile devices seriously, since J.D. Power reported that 47 percent of drivers used a map app on their mobile phone last year -- which is an increase from 37 percent in 2011. Also, 46 percent of car owners with an embedded navigation system said they wouldn't buy one again if their smartphone app could be synced with their dashboard displays.

Source: Automotive News



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Just link it
By Motoman on 7/15/2013 2:32:51 PM , Rating: 5
The best solution is to just have a USB connection for your phone that will let it's GPS thing be displayed on the in-dash screen.

Or just give up with the in-dash screens all together, and have a built-in phone holder thingy that peeps can place said phone in to use for navigation.




RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By djdjohnson on 7/15/2013 2:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't work when you're in unfamiliar territory, which is exactly what GPS devices/apps were made for.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By retrospooty on 7/15/2013 3:57:45 PM , Rating: 5
We dont use a lot of things we used to use because modern tech has improved it. It doesnt mean people are stupid. Nav gives you several things over a map.

#1 Above all - Traffic updates. If there is a crash, you can go a different route. This is why I use it daily
#2 Easy access to everything. The last I checked, Rand McNally wasnt putting restaurants, gas stations, ATM's, etc etc on their maps.
#3 Ability to easily reroute re-route if you do happen to miss a turn or get lost

If you have a smartphone and arent using it's GPS then I would say you are the one that is feeble.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By retrospooty on 7/15/2013 5:44:28 PM , Rating: 3
"#1 a route that more often than not takes longer if you would otherwise just wait for the accident to be cleared?"

No, it depends entirely on where you live and the amount of alternate ways home.

"#2 If you need a GPSed smartphone to find a gas station/food/lodging the big ass blue signs along the interstate that point out all the services available at the exit are pointless no?"

OK, but you people arent always on the interstate or in thier own hometown. FFS, its highly useful when you are on a trip, away from home, and NO, there arent signs everywhere for every restaurant ATM or gas station in ANY city anywhere on Earth.

"#3 Moot point looking at a map again is trivial to find alternate routes."

I said "easily reroute". You cant safely unfold a map while driving.

Of course its possible to get around with out it, as we all always have... but its not as convenient, expecially when you arent in a familiar area. You are just being obstinate on purpose here.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By retrospooty on 7/15/2013 6:12:30 PM , Rating: 5
"Kinda puzzled by this one I once drove from northen Germany to Switzerland 10 hours..."

That is one place and one situation.

"I usually don't drive alone cross country and rely on my copilot to navigate she can read a map too."

And when you are in a city heading toward whatever destination and you say "Hey, I am hungry, I feel like Sushi" does she magically know where nearby Sushi restaurants are and which ones are rated good and/or bad by people that had previously eaten there ? Google maps has it, so do many others.

All anyone is saying is it adds convenience. Not necessarily in every individual situation, but often... It's an added convenience, and its totally free - already built into every smartphone phone. It's all value added and none taken away.

We could all use a horse and buggy, it gets you there, but cars are more convenient. We could all use stars, the sun and a sextant for navigation, it gets you there, but modern tech is more convenient. If you do feel stubborn and dont want to use GPS, hey, its still a map of everywhere, built right in to the phone you already carry. I re-iterate, you are being obstinate on purpose here, and I think you know it ;)


RE: Just link it
By geekman1024 on 7/15/2013 9:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
Chill, dude, no point arguing. Let him stay in his cave. Peacefully.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By retrospooty on 7/16/2013 4:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
"retrospooty lives in a cave? I don't think so he is one of the more cogent opinions on the site."

Totally agreed... I don't get why everyone doesn't see it ;)


RE: Just link it
By Sivar on 7/16/2013 11:21:45 AM , Rating: 3
You handled that with far more grace and control than most would have.


RE: Just link it
By JediJeb on 7/16/2013 5:52:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
We could all use stars, the sun and a sextant for navigation, it gets you there, but modern tech is more convenient.


The US Navy still uses this to confirm that the GPS is working correctly.


RE: Just link it
By Jeffk464 on 7/17/2013 11:45:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
#1 Above all - Traffic updates. If there is a crash, you can go a different route. This is why I use it daily #2 Easy access to everything. The last I checked, Rand McNally wasnt putting restaurants, gas stations, ATM's, etc etc on their maps. #3 Ability to easily reroute re-route if you do happen to miss a turn or get lost


#4 All those pesky California speed traps - have to love Waze


RE: Just link it
By Adonlude on 7/17/2013 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Just let the guy have his compass and his sextant and we can all move on.


RE: Just link it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/15/2013 3:57:57 PM , Rating: 5
Ludditesayswhat?

Okay seriously, I'm 36. So I guess you could say smartphones are a relatively new thing for me. Yes I can use a map. Yes I HAVE used maps up to pretty recently. I used to print out directions from Mapquest or Googlemaps and would take them with me if I was going to an unfamiliar place, before I had a smartphone.

But here's the thing, and why your opinion doesn't belong here, those methods are inferior. That's kind of the point of technology; making routine tasks infinitely easier.

I also had a job as a delivery driver years and years before the smartphone/GPS. I can tell you right now, there are places out there and streets that you just aren't going to find using your little map. Because of technology, productivity and accuracy of your deliveries have increased tenfold. I dare you to walk up to a delivery driver and give him your stupid "in the good old days, you don't need GPS" routine. Enjoy your black eye...

So I don't see it as being "feeble" to embrace things that make our lives better or easier. I really don't understand why you're being this way over such a no-brainer, but meah.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By fic2 on 7/15/2013 4:36:48 PM , Rating: 4
What if your street isn't on your paper map? How are you going to update it to get to where you are going?

By the time your horse and buggy get somewhere your paper map is not going to be very accurate.


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Just link it
By ChronoReverse on 7/15/2013 5:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really that obtuse or are you so sheltered that you haven't been around enough to know that things like signs and street numbers aren't always easy to see?


RE: Just link it
By Motoman on 7/15/2013 6:04:17 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously, why in the f%ck does he have his panties in a wad about trying to make people use a map instead of GPS?

Dude. This isn't exactly a Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD thing. It's more like holding a turkey leg up in the air during a thunderstorm hoping for a lightning strike instead of using the oven.


RE: Just link it
By ClownPuncher on 7/15/2013 6:48:38 PM , Rating: 3
Damn, now I'm going to have to cook turkey that way.


RE: Just link it
By brasstax on 7/15/2013 6:49:07 PM , Rating: 1
I do feel for Ammo's sentiment, but I also think its inevitably a losing position.

Before I had a smartphone I went on a trip with some friends and was not driving. I had a crappy map provided by the rental company and the driver had a Tom Tom. I was amazed how they could not make sense of the map I had and the accurate directions I gave using it and instead spent a good deal of time fighting with their device.

They NEEDED the GPS, whereas I was aware of my surroundings. The thing that really got me though was that they didn't seem to care.

Ammohunt's sentiment seems similar, the difference is I expect to be a dying breed. Just like most of us can't build our own house or truly make most of the food we eat, even mental abilities like directions will be exchanged for a product provided by technology.

I now use my smartphones GPS for everything from my daily commute to finding my favorite fishing hole...but I rarely use turn by turn directions, I use it as a mobile map with a you-are-here feature and real-time traffic.

It can be frustrating to watch human beings become capable of only following the arrow placed in front of them like some Fidelity commercial, but like it or not it is the future, both in literally and figuratively. Hopefully the efficiency provided by technology will allow our mental capabilities to focus on more meaningful and lasting tasks.

If not, at least we'll save money on street signs.


RE: Just link it
By ChronoReverse on 7/15/2013 7:07:11 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry. False dilemma.

Perhaps your friends aren't able but I'm perfectly able to use a map (mostly because cheap and convenient GPS units came about long after I've already been driving). But a good GPS unit is much nicer than fighting over a paper map during the trip itself.

I'll usually look up the route and have at least a rough idea before the trip of course but that's a different issue.


RE: Just link it
By DiggsNC on 7/15/2013 7:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
The GPS is an amazing tool, but so is an Atlas. Both have their place.

I was glad to read your reply since I have seen people also completely at a loss to read a map. While with the tech we have today, I can see why many find it old and foreign, there are times when it is better.

The girlfriend and I took a trip through the South West a couple of years ago and she (much younger than me) brought a big Rand McNally Road Atlas along. I wondered why she would bother. We both have smartphones and I had a Garmin as well at the time. I was later very happy she brought it. I was amazed at all the small parks and some larger State parks and smaller roads that were in the Atlas there were NOT on any of our GPS devices.

The ability to get an overall picture of the area and what was in that region allowed us to plot much better routes for sight seeing than if we had relied solely on the GPS.

Again, I am a HUGE fan of my GPS apps on the phone, but we use both whenever we travel. They are both tools, one is old and not as hip as the other, but it still has some usefulness. For metro driving, sure the GPS is going to win. But get out where there is little to no data service while site seeing over a large area. You will be surprised how handy that Atlas can be.


RE: Just link it
By JediJeb on 7/16/2013 6:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree with this, and not just for trips out in the open like that. We still get calls from delivery people who can not find our building in the industrial park using GPS. We have been here almost ten years and still GPS and Google Maps sends people to the other side of town when they put in our address.

It doesn't matter how up to date the app is, if the info they have is not correct. GPS apps are pretty good in major population centers but not so much in rural areas. Drive to my parent's house and the GPS apps will tell you the last five miles you are driving through a field, but the state highway and county road you are on has been there for 50 years. Every paper map I have looked at has them, why can't the GPS and online maps get it right?

My uncle has GPS in his tractor trailer and uses it most of the time, but he still swears the best way to find obscure places in big cities is to simply ask a cab driver.


RE: Just link it
By hpglow on 7/16/2013 12:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
Damnit Siri guided me into a lake while I was typing this response and driving. If only I had a paper map this never would have happened. Ok time to play angry birds one last time before my car fills with water.


RE: Just link it
By StormyKnight on 7/16/2013 11:48:12 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, somebody needs nappy time.


RE: Just link it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/15/2013 9:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
Okay Ammo, look, you know when you watch The Shining and Nicholson slowly slides into insanity? There comes a moment where he goes from clearly unwell, into clearly insane.

Coming home tonight and reading your responses here is just like watching The Shining.

Just stop, please..just stop. What is your deal? Discussions on technology dependence have their place, sure, but GPS? Really??

quote:
How many people would starve and or freeze without electricity? hint (more than most would like to admit).


....

Okay then I'm going to dump you 25 miles offshore in a rowboat without GPS. You have a 1 in 4 chance of guessing the right direction back to land. Good luck there Bear Grylls!!



RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/2013 10:12:37 PM , Rating: 1
REDRUM! REDRUM! Seriously the simple premise I failed miserably to convey is people should learn how to navigate using a map instead of relying completely on a navigation device. That's all
quote:
Okay then I'm going to dump you 25 miles offshore in a rowboat without GPS. You have a 1 in 4 chance of guessing the right direction back to land. Good luck there Bear Grylls!!


Bear Grylls is the man! Of course if I had a map I would be fine..<joke>


RE: Just link it
By Aloonatic on 7/16/2013 2:31:33 AM , Rating: 2
No problem with people learning how to use a map (it's not hard though, you seem to be making out like it's some kind of dying art) and that the should have a printed map in the car just in case.

The thing is, planning a route takes time, and local speed limits aren't on maps, as well as a lot of other information.

I don't get why you can't understand the simple premise of..

Google where you want to go, find post code/zip code, enter into sat nav, go...

As opposed to find where you want to go in the yellow pages or find their address some other way (as you don't want to use any technology I assume) get map from car or wherever. unfold it all over your dinning room table. find where you are, find destination, trace route, check for alternatives, write down simple instructions manually, fold everything back up again, get into car...

To be fair, if you are remotely sensible, road signs get you most of the way, but not always the best route.

The thing here is time and convenience. Almost everything that tech does could be done before, but tech does it faster and more simply, leaving you free to do other things with your time. By the time you are folding your map up again and putting everything away neatly, the person with the sat nav is already 10 minutes down the road ahead of you.


RE: Just link it
By V-Money on 7/16/2013 5:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how on earth did we ever navigate prior to smart phones?


Very inefficiently I would imagine. I never use the GPS unless I have to, and I frequently look up a route and memorize it when I can, but in a lot of cases it just isn't practical. I go on long trips very frequently and I drive cross country on average once a year, thats a lot of directions to remember.

I also go into big cities, where I never even try to remember all of the directions. When you are driving (or even walking) in the middle of NY or SF its nice not to have to look at the map 30 million times, plus some apps give you subway routes and such which is very convenient.

I've personally never used GPS to find a gas station, but Smartphones win over paper maps every time when looking for buffets in Nevada that have shrimp (last trip my gf really wanted shrimp at a buffet when we were travelling through NV)and so we used the best option.

I dont really get your feeble argument, its a widely available tool that is cheap to use. I already have a smartphone and google maps is pre-installed.I mean yes, I can build a house with a hammer like they used to before they had nailguns, but that doesn't mean I'm going to.


RE: Just link it
By chripuck on 7/15/2013 3:00:27 PM , Rating: 1
Did you really just tell people to pull out a paper map?

Really? Really?


RE: Just link it
By Motoman on 7/15/2013 3:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if that's worse, or telling people to only drive in areas where they live - i.e. don't ever go anywhere.


RE: Just link it
By Mitch101 on 7/15/2013 3:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Old school break out the compass and sextant.

Im curious to see this when its available.
Garmin set to release Bluetooth Heads-up Display for Windows Phone navigation
http://www.wpcentral.com/garmin-set-release-blueto...


RE: Just link it
By cjohnson2136 on 7/15/2013 4:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
That would be cool if it was able to work with the default navigation program on the phones instead of having you pay 30 dollars for the app plus the estimated 130 for the hardware.


RE: Just link it
By justkuz on 7/15/2013 3:14:32 PM , Rating: 4
But then why even drive when you can just sit back in your buggy while your horse walks wherever it wants?


RE: Just link it
By DukeN on 7/15/2013 3:54:35 PM , Rating: 3
Who needs maps when you have the North Star?!?


RE: Just link it
By Motoman on 7/16/2013 10:37:24 AM , Rating: 3
Depends on how long your trip is.

Right now, Polaris is the "north star" - which is to say, the star that seems most aligned with the polar axis. But due to the procession of the axis, in something like 14,400 years, Vega will be the "north star" - not Polaris.

The more you know!


RE: Just link it
By kleinma on 7/15/2013 4:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
I know right. Plus these crazy people with their gas powered cars constantly are getting in the way of my horse drawn buggy. Who needs lights when we have all these candles to read by, and if we need to send a message to someone the next town over, well smoke signals do just fine for that. These people and their crazy gadgets...


RE: Just link it
By Ammohunt on 7/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Just link it
By Spuke on 7/15/2013 6:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Long after you curl up and die of starvation because the power is out and you can't figure out how to cook your burrito without a microwave there will be Amish folks and people like me getting along like they have for hundreds of years.
LMAO!!!!! What does this have to do with navigation systems?


RE: Just link it
By inighthawki on 7/15/2013 10:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
He thinks that somehow because people prefer technology that makes their lives easier that they are completely and utterly dependent on it.

Ammo, people know how to read a freaking map, they aren't dumb. GPS units just have far more convenient features that are either not available on a map, or free you of time and effort that would otherwise need to be put towards finding something.


RE: Just link it
By japlha on 7/16/2013 1:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take my chances of not being prepared for the apocalypse by using electricity and GPS devices. If society crumbles and all infrastructure ceases to exist I'm confident I'll learn how to survive pretty fast. If I fail, well then I should have listened to you. Have fun with your Amish friends and your paper maps.


RE: Just link it
By hau101 on 7/15/2013 6:38:49 PM , Rating: 1
Out with friends in a new city looking for a new place to visit or eat out of the blue? You go ahead carrying a thick visitor's guidebook or ask strangers while I just whip out my phone and save everyone else the time. Or (hopefully) one of your buds saves you the effort and saves the rest of the group time and use the GPS.


RE: Just link it
By retrospooty on 7/15/2013 6:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
"Out with friends in a new city looking for a new place to visit or eat out of the blue? "

Exactly... + its sortable/filterable by food type and rated by previous visitors so you dont wind up eating something crappy. Its 100% upside and absolutely free, plus its already built into something we all use already.


RE: Just link it
By Scootie on 7/16/2013 2:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I agree with Ammohunt here. If you are unable to read a real map you forgot how to be a real man.
Ofc it's easier to listen to a gadget.


RE: Just link it
By mikeyD95125 on 7/16/2013 3:23:12 AM , Rating: 1
Ammohunt is the new Reclaimer


RE: Just link it
By Cerin218 on 7/16/2013 1:01:11 PM , Rating: 1
So I should be a dinosaur just for the fun of being a dinosaur?

I had to visit a friend and got lost due to bad directions. I asked them to text me their address, then used my Windows phone to click the link, which opened up the map app, which I then clicked on Directions and it used GPS to coordinate where I was in relation to where I was going and provided me with turn by turn directions spoken over my car speakers allowing me to concentrate on the road. All that brought me right to his door.

Or I could have gotten out a map, stumbled around to figure out where I was, then plotted the directions constantly rechecking the map and taking my eyes off the road and hopefully been able to figure out how to get there.

Technology is good and can help us. Can I read a map, yes. Was that an efficient use of my time in this scenario? No.

Why should I be a dinosaur when I don't have to be?


RE: Just link it
By eagle470 on 7/15/2013 4:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
I actually bought a car with built in GPS for two reasons. One was so that no one would want to steal the GPS system. The other was because driving in downtown DC or Baltimore was a nightmare and I didn't want to have to deal with a tiny mobile screen.


RE: Just link it
By kleinma on 7/15/2013 4:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well those aren't invalid points, but

1) you can just put the GPS system away in the glovebox or out of view when not being used. The built in GPS is always sitting in view. Granted a standalone GPS would be a quick smash and grab, I have to imagine you would be more upset if you came back to your car and found the entire center dash removed by a more sophisticated car thief.

2) tiny mobile screen is relative. My smartphone screen is as big as any mobile GPS I have seen. I know some in car GPS may be on a larger square screen between 7 and 10 inches, but my phone is pretty large for use as a GPS. That and it talks the directions out loud, which is what I rely on more than staring at a screen while driving.


RE: Just link it
By Lord 666 on 7/15/2013 8:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Past three cars I have purchased have the GPS built-in.

The other benefits not mentioned are;

1. I tend to keep my cars for 4-6 years, but generally swap out phones twice a year. Instead of waiting for a car manufacturer build an interface or fix the bugs, the built-in unit just works.

2. Cell phones typically require recent signal for cellular data and near the windshield for GPS. The built-in unit is at the edge of the window.

3. Today when I got into my car, it was 102. The gen 4 itouch was too hot and didn't work with the temperature warning on it. Even worse is sometimes my 2013 car doesn't connect to the touch and sometimes doesn't connect the first time with Bluetooth.

4. My 2013 car shipped with a 30 pin apple adapter. Apple ditched that interface in 2012. When i get into a car, the last thing i want to do is connect wires and other nonsense. Typically i use mass transit and do not own a car charger for my droid hd. Built-in doesn't have this issue no does it have to be charged.


RE: Just link it
By km9v on 7/16/2013 11:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using a Garmin nav unit w/ lifetime updates since 2007. Well worth the $200 I paid back then. I certainly would not pay $2000+ for a built in nav unit in a car.


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