This has me wondering about Google’s economic model (give stuff away, make a killing on ads) and the coming cell phone GPS vs. PND wars. Using your cell phone as a GPS is nothing like the experience of a dedicated, decent sized touch-screen device and, while cell phones may take some market share (those folks with only rare or occasional navigation needs), I’ve thought that there is still plenty of room for growth in the PND market.
But Garmin and others better take a close look at this. I wonder how long it will be before a GPS manufacturer comes out with a dual model — pay for traffic services, or get them for free in exchange for seeing location based ads.
Free traffic and satellite photos is a pretty good deal. And while I haven’t found out what traffic service provider Google is using, their coverage appears to be good too. I routinely drive through Santa Rosa, CA, and live traffic reports have yet to show up on my nuvi 660, but here it is on Google Maps.