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Automotive navigation system

An automotive navigation system is part of the automobile controls or a third party add-on used to find direction in an automobile. It typically uses a satellite navigation device to get its position data which is then correlated to a position on a road. When directions are needed routing can be calculated. On the fly traffic information can be used to adjust the route.

Dead reckoning using distance data from sensors attached to the drivetrain, a gyroscope and an accelerometer can be used for greater reliability, as GPS signal loss and/or multipath can occur due to urban canyons or tunnels.

Automotive navigation systems represent a convergence of a number of diverse technologies many of which have been available for many years, but were too costly or inaccessible. Limitations such as batteries, display, and processing power had to be overcome before the product became commercially viable.Etak made an early system that used map-matching to improve on dead reckoning instrumentation. Digital map information was stored on standard cassette tapes.

The road database is a vector map. Street names or numbers and house numbers are encoded as geographic coordinates so that the user can find some desired destination by street address (see map database management).

Points of interest (waypoints) are stored with their geographic coordinates. Formats are almost uniformly proprietary; there is no industry standard for satellite navigation maps, although some companies are trying to address this with SDAL and NDS.

  • 1966: General Motors Research (GMR) was working on a non-satellite-based navigation and assistance system called DAIR (Driver Aid, Information & Routing). After initial tests GM found that it was not a scalable or practical way to provide navigation assistance. Decades later, however, the concept would be reborn as OnStar.
  • 1980: Electronic Auto Compass with new mechanism on the Toyota Crown.
  • 1981: navigation computer on the Toyota Celica. (NAVICOM)
  • 1987: Toyota introduced the World's first CD-ROM-based navigation system on the Toyota Crown.
  • 1990: Mazda Eunos Cosmo became the first car with built-in GPS-navigation system
  • 1991: Toyota introduced GPS car navigation on the Toyota Soarer.
  • 1991: Mitsubishi introduced GPS car navigation on the Mitsubishi Debonair (MMCS: Mitsubishi Multi Communication System).
  • 1992: Voice assisted GPS navigation system on the Toyota Celsior.
  • 1993: The Austrian channel ORF airs a presentation of the software company bitMAP and its head Werner Liebig's invention, an electronic city map including street names and house numbers, using a satellite-based navigation system. bitMAP attends Comdex in Las Vegas the same year, but doesn't manage to market itself properly.
  • 1994: BMW 7 series E38 first European model featuring GPS sat nav. The navigation system was developed in cooperation with Philips (Philips CARIN).
  • 1995: Oldsmobile introduced the first GPS navigation system available in a United States production car, called GuideStar.
  • 1995: Device called "Mobile Assistant" or short, MASS, produced by Munich-based company ComRoad AG, won the title "Best Product in Mobile Computing" on CeBit by magazine Byte. It offered turn-by-turn navigation via wireless internet connection, with both GPS and speed sensor in the car.
  • 1997: Navigation system using Differential GPS developed as a factory-installed option on the Toyota Prius
  • 1998: First DVD-based navigation system introduced on the Toyota Progres
  • 2000: The United States made a more accurate GPS signal available for civilian use.
  • 2003: Toyota introduced the first Hard disk drive-based navigation system and the industry's first DVD-based navigation system with a built-in Electronic throttle control
  • 2007: Toyota introduced Map on Demand, a technology for distributing map updates to car navigation systems, developed as the first of its kind in the world
  • 2008: World's first navigation system-linked brake assist function and Navigation system linked to Adaptive Variable Suspension System (NAVI/AI-AVS) on Toyota Crown


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