San Diego – Sony is returning to
the installed in-vehicle navigation market in partnership with TomTom.
TomTom’s navigation technologies and
maps will appear in two Sony in-dash A/V-navigation head units available in
For TomTom, the launch marks the
first time that an aftermarket head unit in the U.S. combines its maps and
points-of-interest content with other TomTom navigation technologies, such as
IQ Routes. Pioneer aftermarket head units in the U.S. already use TomTom
(formerly TeleAtlas) maps and POI data, TomTom told TWICE.
TomTom’s maps, POI database and
other proprietary technologies are also used in automakers’ OEM navigation systems.
previous ventures in navigation have included portable navigation devices
(PNDs) and an installed outboard navigation module controlled from select head
units, but the company left both markets in recent years. The company’s first installed navigation systems
were launched in the early 1990s and included a hideaway CD-ROM player/GPS
receiver combined with a dash-mountable 5-inch LCD display and wireless remote.
The two new A/V navigation systems will be
Sony’s first head units to incorporate built-in navigation. They are the XNV-770BT
and XNV-660BT. The double-DIN units will retail on an everyday basis at around $1,300
and $1,000, respectively, through Sony dealers and the Sony Style retail
770BT features motorized 7-inch WVGA widescreen capacitive touchpanel display
that opens up to reveal a CD/DVD slot. The XNV-660BT features 6.1-inch WVGA
widescreen capacitive touchpanel below the CD/DVD slot. Both feature
surround-sound playback and rear-panel USB-1 input to control iPods, iPhones and
other digital music players. They also feature Bluetooth, a graphical user
interface (GUI), and display of song metadata and album artwork from connected
MPs players. Sony’s SensMe feature automatically creates custom music playlists
and radio channels from a connected music library.
models come pre-loaded with TomTom’s U.S. and Canada map database with one free
year of map upgrades. Both models also incorporate such proprietary TomTom technologies
as IQ Routes, which evaluates route options based on actual traffic speeds
rather than posted speed limits and will recommend the fastest route for the
time of day. Another TomTom technology is Advanced Lane Guidance, which displays
detailed graphics in complex multi-lane situations. Quick GPSfix delivers fast
GPS start-up times, and MapShare enables drivers to correct their maps and
benefit from changes made by other drivers via computer.