Mich. - Portable navigation device (PND) supplier TomTom unveiled its first "semi-integrated"
OEM navigation system for the U.S. market.
The TomTom Blue & Me system, an option on
the 2012 Fiat 500, consists of a PND that connects to the vehicle's wiring to
get power and integrate with the vehicle's electronics systems. As a result,
the PND can be controlled from the car's steering-wheel controls, and it displays
information from the car's trip computer. The device also includes a media
player and cellphone hands-free Bluetooth interface. Pricing was unavailable.
Earlier this year at the Geneva Auto Show, Harman
unveiled a similar concept, which it developed for Mercedes. It's available
TomTom automotive managing director Giles
Shrimpton called the TomTom device an "infotainment product that 'connects' to
the vehicle's infrastructure and bridges the gap between automotive electronics
and retail electronics to bring navigation technology to the vehicle system
with quicker time to market."
Unlike fixed in-dash OEM navigation systems,
the device allows for easy map updates through the MyTomTom online portal and a
variety of personalization features, including choice of start-up screens and
car symbols, the company said.
Blue&Me is already available on Fiats in
When connected to the Fiat, the device's
4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen displays the vehicle's low-fuel warning,
mileage, trip odometer, clock, and language settings. Other features include
dead reckoning for continued navigation when GPS is unavailable, voice-control
and command, gesture control with pinch-to-zoom and swipe, street-name
announce, and advanced lane guidance.
TomTom IQ Routes
enables the device to evaluate route options based on actual historical traffic
speeds rather than posted speed limits and will recommend the fastest route for
the time of day.
Harman's Becker Map Pilot is similar. It consists
of a portable "brain" that sits in a glove-box docking cradle, which
connects the brain to the car's in-dash and steering-wheel controls and to an
in-dash display. It was promoted as combining the flexibility and upgradability
of a portable navigation device (PND) with the OEM integration of an in-dash