Entries in GPS (4)


Tweet and Yelp With the New Tom Tom

GPS Device Adds New Social Media Functions 

With the increased capabilities of in car infotainment systems, you had to figure it would spark 3rd party GPS and navigation manufacturers to step up.

It appears that Tom Tom have done just that.  

The new Tom Tom, featuring their Go Live 2353M software, will feature HD traffic updates, Yelp and Twitter integration plus Google search.  The new model will be out this fall.  

The Expedia function looks particularly interesting.  On the Expedia app, ypu will be able to search for nearby hotel rates and read reviews.  The best part, however, is that it will stay up to date on current rates availability. Plus with the Bluetooth connectability, you can make a hands free call to book a reservation.  Not bad at all.  

The Twitter integration will allow for drivers to safely tweet on a roadtrip.  You can automatically check in and tweet your location so your friends can see where you are.  For the social media savvy, this is obviously a huge function.  

There are other functions worth checking out.  Visit Tom Tom online to see more about the device.  Feel free to let us know about any experience you've had with their products.  


How Wifi and GPS Help Avoid Accidents

Automakers Making New Technology Beneficial For Drivers

With the new in-car technology such as Toyota Entune, we already have talking cars, sort of.  However, new safety features will take talking cars a step further and at the same time aim to increase safety measures.  New technology is obviously fun to play with, but now engineers are finding ways to save lives with it.  

"This new world of wireless communication will make transportation safer," said Peter Appel, administrator of the Transportation Department's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, to the Detroit Free Press recently.  

Automakers are developing safety systems using advanced WiFi signals and GPS systems that could allow vehicles to communicate with each other while driving. The cars could then send messages to warn their drivers about potential crashes, traffic or other mishaps.

"We really see a safety opportunity here," said Mike Shulman, technical leader for Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.

This has been in the works for close to 10 years, however, mobile technology is clearly further along than it was then.  Plus the auto companies are working together.  Several automakers are part of a consortium sharing information on the crash-avoidance systems, including General Motors, Toyota, Daimler and others.

The warnings would come in the form of sounds, lights and even voices.  The full systems are still a few years away from launch, but  Ford officials said the technology, if installed on enough vehicles, could reduce the more than 30,000 people who are killed each year on the nation's highways.

To showcase the technology, auto companies plan to hold driving clinics next summer to let consumers experience the intelligent vehicles. Car companies and the government are developing standards and hoping to complete research by 2013 and plan for future deployment.


How To Safely Monitor Your Teenage Driver

New High Tech Devices Offer Parents Peace of Mind

Every parent wants to know their teenage driver is safe.  New GPS devices and related products offer parents the ability see where their teenagers are driving. 

First, there are tracking devices that can be added to a teen's cell phone.  Sprint's Family Locator and Verizon's Chaperone allow parents to keep tabs on their teens in real-time on the Internet via satellite mapping. You can also use these services to set up a "safety zone" and send notifications when your teenager leaves it. 

So what happens if your teenager loses their phone or it loses battery?  There's no shortage of services and gadgets available.  Most attach to the vehicle itself. 

Youth Driving Safe sells GPS devices that provide real-time tracking, "geo-fencing" for setting up no-drive zones, vehicle speed monitoring and more, with prices that range from $300-$350 with a monthly service fee of $19.  Other devices and programs include MobileTEEN GPS, DriveCam and MobileTEEN GPS.  In terms of service fees, MobileTEEN GPS is free. 

If you don't want to track your teen but would like to set limits on their behavior behind the wheel, try Ford's MyKey. It comes standard on the 2010 Focus and will migrate to other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. It allows parents to program any of a car's keys so that when it's inserted into the ignition an embedded transponder chip imposes certain limits.

Parents can set the car's top speed and set speed-alert chimes to sound at other designated speeds. You can limit the overall volume of the audio system. You can also program MyKey to have the seatbelt reminder chime incessantly and the audio system to mute until the driver's safety belt is buckled.


Ford Thinking Safety First

New Sync System Features Free GPS Location With 911 Assist Service

When you're in an emergency, the last thing you need to worry about is technology not cooperating.  That's why Ford's new 911 Assist option will feature a GPS locator to help emergency workers find the scene of an accident faster.  

"Ford is committed to continuously enhancing the owner experience, and SYNC is a key part of that strategy," said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services.  "Synch 911 Assist is free for the life of the vehicle, and now we're making it perform even better.  That adds unexpected value and peace of mind for the customer." 

The SYNC system allows users to have their electronic devices such as phones and MP3 players connected to the car and controlled by voice. For a quick demo of the SYNC system, see the video below taken at West Herr Ford in Hamburg:

911 Assist with GPS will be available on most SYNC-equipped 2011 vehicles, including the Ford Taurus, Focus, Flex, Fusion, Escape and F-150; as well as the Lincoln MKS, MKZ and MKT.

What sets it apart from the competition is that it is no extra cost.  Other services in the same vain often require monthly subscription fees. 

“The new system is designed to provide coordinates through the onboard GPS receiver in addition to assisted GPS, which adds an even greater level of location accuracy,” said Dave Hatton, global product leader/electrical engineer with Ford Connected Services.  

Ford continues to look for other ways to improve the overall driver experience.  Ford representatives are currently at the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2010 conference in Indianapolis until June 10th.  They aim to work with NENA and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and develop future enhancements for 911 Assist.

For more information on the SYNC system visit syncmyride.com 

For new and used Ford vehicles in Buffalo, visit West Herr online today.