Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Announces First Android Powered Fleet GPS

fleetTM 660

While it’s not ready for release just yet, Garmin has announced that they are working on a new Android powered GPS unit designed for local and commercial fleets. The FleetTM 660 and 670 have unique customization options common to Android devices and allow for integration of applications from partners and companies as well as widgets to store important information. Basically, it’s a GPS that acts like a phone with a GPS navigation focus. read more

Magellan SmartGPS 5390 Now Available Online

SmartGPS 5390

Magellan has announced the increased availability of their SmartGPS 5390 unit, designed to create a connected car experience with enhanced navigation. It is available now at BestBuy.com, Costco.com, Amazon.com, and magellangps.com for $229.99.

Featuring a sleek and stylish appearance, the Magellan SmartGPS 5390 is designed to let users have the connected car experience without the price tag. The device displays locations of lowest gas prices, Foursquare/Yelp user reviews of POIs, red-light camera alerts, weather and traffic reports, and automatic cloud syncing to add contacts and destinations to your device. And, of course, GPS directions and routing. read more

New TomTom START Designed For Leisure Drivers

Fusion TIFF FileTomTom introduced the new TomTom START range of GPS devices today. TomTom has a habit of reusing names of devices, so if you recognize the name from a series launched a few years ago, you aren’t crazy. The new START devices are a little cheaper than most, ringing in at €139.95 ($187.35) and are aimed at the ‘leisure traveler.’

The START has many TomTom features that are quickly becoming standard on their devices including the same Quick Search we reviewed on the TomTom GO 500 and the ability to tap on the map to plan a route. The route bar has been redesigned to make it easier for drivers to see essential travel information at a glance. The device also comes with lifetime maps (which all for four free updates a year for the life of the device), advance lane guidance with realistic 3D pictures showing which lane to be in, a million pre-loaded POIs and the new “My Places” which allows drivers to save their favorite locations on the map for easy navigation. The START is available with a 4, 5 or 6 inch screen size. read more

Magellan Introduces New GPS Designed For RVs

Magellan_RV9490T-LMB_LRMagellan has announced the availability of the new RoadMade RV9490T-LMB. This seven inch Android-powered RV GPS device has smartphone and cloud integration to provide real-time information while on the road. The device features trip-planning abilities and several RV-friendly functions, such as:

  • Vehicle Profile – Customizable RV routes based on your vehicle type, dimensions and driving preferences
  • POIs designed specifically for RVs – pre-loaded POIs include Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory, Fuel stations and Sani-Dump Stations in addition to normal POIs like restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Geotag Navigation – The ability to input Geotag information (latitude/longitude) information and navigate to your desired location

The device also features several of Magellan’s latest safety features including customizable driving alerts to notify drivers of speed limits, yellow warning signs, toll plaza alerts, speed camera and traffic camera alerts; Junction View and Lane Assist guidance; Landmark Guidance, where directions are given using easy-to-spot landmarks; Next Two-Turn Visibility to help you know which lane to be in; and more.

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Sci-Fi Meets Reality with New HUD Display

HUD Augmented Reality Driving

While we may not yet have flying cars, technology keeps getting us closer and closer to the world we see in sci-fi movies and films. I am pleased to say that augmented reality displays for navigation are finally here, and may be installed in vehicles within the next few years.

Yesterday, Continental announced a new Head-up Display (or HUD) that will project navigation and other information right in the driver’s line of sight. This Augmented Reality HUD (AR-HUD) looks very futuristic, projecting directions and warnings so they appear to be part of the road ahead, allowing drivers to keep their eyes where they should be–on the road and traffic. read more

TomTom GO 500 Review

TomTom GO Amazon

Hands on with the TomTom GO 500

The TomTom GO 500 is the top of the line in the most recent editions of the GO Series, launched in January 2014 (Not to be confused with the older, clunky GO 500 model released in March 2005). The new GO 500 is 5 inches and features lifetime map updates and lifetime access to TomTom Traffic (formerly HD Traffic) services which include Jam Ahead warning, Road Work detection, Road Closing Detection and traffic cam warnings. The GO 500 comes with a windshield mount and is preloaded with US maps. It features voice command and a friendly touchscreen interface. We’ll get into the details of all of that shortly. First, let’s look at…

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GPS Windshield Mounts Illegal in over Half the U.S.


We have posted articles about this before, but with the height of vacation season upon us, I thought it might be a good time to go over where you can place GPS mounts without getting a ticket. Each state in the U.S. has different laws about where you can (or can’t) mount an external automotive GPS device in your car, and if you get pulled over in a state with a different law, ignorance isn’t going to get you out of a hefty ticket! As a general rule, you can mount the device on your dashboard and have no issues–but if you intend to use a windshield mount, be sure to check this list before you take off.  The logic is that these devices obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and are dangerous.

Currently, windshield mounts are illegal in more than half of the US–no matter where you mount it on your windshield, you can get a ticket passing through these states. Additionally, many of these states have laws about screens being operational in the car where the driver can see them. Windshield mounts in the following states should be avoided: read more

Top Ten Bestselling Vehicle GPS Devices on Amazon

Garmin nüvi Essential Series 2013

When we set out to do a top ten from Amazon, we were surprised to find that Garmin Nüvi had pretty well taken over the market. Out of the top 20 bestselling GPS on Amazon, only 5 of them were not Garmin devices (four TomTom and one Magellan). And out of the 15 Garmin devices, only one of them was not from the Nüvi line (Garmin Dezl 760LMT, ranked 16).

The Nüvi line is very popular and we have written several articles dissecting the Nüvi line and comparing them in a chart for your convenience. The Nüvi line all have voice guided navigation, lane assist, turn-by-turn instructions and a bright, friendly screen. All devices with LM after the model number come with free lifetime maps. When purchased on Amazon, many of these units also include a mount for your windshield or dashboard. read more

TomTom GO 500 Introduced

TomTomGO 500

The TomTom Go series is sharp and has plenty of features.

In a bid to ramp up the competition with Garmin, TomTom has released the TomTom GO 500, the newest in the popular GO series, which features both lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic updates. The TomTom GO is the only navigation device that allows you to start navigating with two taps, and is also optimized for voice navigation, allowing you set your destination hands-free. The device also features a 3D interactive map with a touchscreen interface that looks a lot like a smartphone, alternative route planning to help you avoid traffic and allows users to change their route easily, and warns of traffic jams ahead of time. read more

Vechicle Regulations for GPS in the Works


Navigating with a GPS during trips instead of an atlas has become more and more popular–but is it a risk for already-distracted drivers? As technology becomes more common, more and more people are concerned about distracted drivers becoming a danger to those around them. Phones are the usual culprit for such worries, but now the Department of Transportation has begun to point to GPS devices as well. read more