Friday, February 01, 2013

Will smart phones be the end of built in automobile NAV systems?

Four years ago, my wife bought me car for my birthday.  She reasoned that as a newly minted Angeleno, I would be spending more time in my car than ever before (she was right), and so that I might tire of my slightly beat-up Corolla.

She got me a Honda Accord with all the trimmings, including a NAV device, which I enjoyed very much.  And four years later, I continue to love the car.  But I recently downloaded WAZE to my phone.  WAZE provides crowd-sourced information on traffic, and allows one to find the fastest route from place to place with remarkable dependability.  It provides turn by turn directions, but will change the directions on the fly when traffic conditions change, a regular feature of life in LA.

WAZE is, by the way, a free app.  It also takes us one small step closer to self-driving cars.  By guess is the built-in NAV system, as it currently exists, is a dinosaur.

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