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Cobra Bows Built-In Real-Time Traffic Portable

8/22/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Cobra introduced what it claims is the first navigation unit to offer a built-in receiver for real-time traffic, which is an application expected to drive navigation sales in the future.

The Cobra NAV ONE 4500 is a portable, rather than fixed, in-car navigation device. It offers real-time traffic and eliminates the need for a separate traffic receiver. The unit comes pre-activated, so the user can begin receiving traffic service immediately, said Cobra's senior VP marketing Tony Mirabelli.

As in other traffic systems, the NAV ONE 4500 provides alerts that are refreshed every few minutes and appear as icons on the users' route map. Users tap on the icon to display traffic speed flow and other data. Cobra's system also supplies views of alternative routes, and gives the estimated arrival time for each route, so the user may select the best alternative in case of traffic.

The unit offers turn-by-turn directions through voice and map views. It has a 5-inch touch screen that Cobra claims is the brightest in the industry. The NAV ONE 4500 also offers 3D topography map views so drivers might see there is a mountainous area up ahead. It comes with preloaded street maps for North America and 7.6 million points of interest at a suggested retail price of $1,099. It includes three months free traffic service that costs $59.95 a year thereafter, said Cobra.

Demand for portable navigation products is skyrocketing and industry pundits claim real-time traffic could boost sales in the future. (See story on p. 36.)

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