Sunday, March 18, 2012

The future of auto GPS, part one – Safety

Today and tomorrow, we’ll take a look at a couple of different directions personal navigation device (PND) manufacturers might take in the near future. One possibility is to add some safety-oriented technology.

We’re starting to see more and more collision-avoidance systems show up in new cars, and while some may be difficult to implement via PNDs, others aren’t. And when such systems are limited to high-end car models/option packages, a more affordable PND/safety device for your dash may be enticing. So let’s look at some of the technologies involved:

Following distance

In this case, a camera would need to be added to the PND, to estimate the time needed to stop a vehicle, and warn when that margin for error disappears. iOnRoad is a smartphone app (pictured above) that already does this. With significant interest in driving recorders, adding a camera and this capability doesn’t seem far-fetched.

Blind spot, lane drift, pedestrian detection and more

Car stereo manufacturers are already looking at these driver assistance features, so it’s hard to believe that GPS makers aren’t doing the same. And clearly, some of these technologies are already available for dashboard devices.

So how about it? Would you like to see more safety features integrated into your favorite after-market dashboard device?

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. I’d like to see the device be a replacement head unit plus a dash mounted screen. If you keep a car for 10 years then whatever is in the dash is useless after a few years. Having a display in the dash is terrible because you have to look down and it can’t be particularly large. Having a display on top of the dash is great, but it isn’t integrated with the in dash unit.

    Parrot almost figured this out with their Asteroid, but left the screen in the in dash unit instead of having an external on dash screen.

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