Garmin Readies New PNDs, Driving-Related Apps

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 6 2011 - 6:01am




LAS VEGAS — Navigation supplier Garmin is coming to International CES with new 5-inch portable navigation devices (PNDs), its first tracking device for mass consumer use, and first smartphone apps other than nav apps.

Pricing and ship dates were unavailable.

For motorists, the company is launching four models in the Nuvi 24xx series with 5-inch touchscreen at suggested retails ranging from $249 to $319. Two models at $279 and $319 feature automatic speech recognition (voice activation), which would make the $279 model the lowest-priced PND currently on the market with voice activation, the company claimed.

All four feature lane assist with junction view, multi-point route planner, and maps for the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The $249 Nuvi 2450 features optional lifetime traffic updates and optional lifetime map updates. The $299 Nuvi 2450LM features optional lifetime traffic but includes lifetime map updates. At $279, the 2460LT includes lifetime traffic updates, optional map updates, Bluetooth handsfree and voice-activated navigation. The $319 2460LMT features both lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic updates as well as Bluetooth and voice-activated navigation.

Ship dates were unavailable.

For truckers, the company is expanding its PND selection to two with the Dezl 560T with 5-inch screen. It accesses the NTTS Breakdown directory, tracks fuel purchases, logs hours of service and in-state mileage, and downloads the data to a computer. Specialized routing supports truck-related driving restrictions such as height, weight, width, length and hazardous materials.

The device also offers trucking-relevant points of interest, multiple point routing, and turn-by-turn directions that speak street names. It also comes with free lifetime traffic alerts in most major cities, lane assist with junction view, and hands-free Bluetooth calling.

Garmin’s first trucking PND, the Nuvi 465T launched in 2009, remains in the line.

In tracking devices, the company is launching the small, lightweight GTU 10 tracking device for tracking children, pets, boats and the like. “This is our first tracking product for mass consumer distribution,” a spokesperson said. “Our only other tracking product prior to this has been the Astro, which is specifically for hunting dogs.”

In apps, Garmin is launching three driving-related apps. One is an Apple and Android app for the GTU 10 tracking device, enabling users to spot the location of what they’re tracking on their phone’s display.

A second app is the free MyMechanic app for Android, enabling users to monitor car performance. For more detailed metrics, consumers pair the free app with the company’s currently available EcoRoute HD accessory, a $99 Bluetoothequipped cable that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD II diagnostics port to send data to the app or to a compatible Garmin PND.

A third app, called EcoRoute, operates similarly to the EcoRoute capability on select Garmin PNDs. It delivers limited information on the most eco-friendly route to take, but the app can be combined with the EcoRoute HD accessory to provide more information for increase fuel-efficient driving even more.

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