new Garmins for India: nuvi40LM and nuvi50LM

Garmin is looking to grow its market share in India with two new GPS navigation systems: nuvi40LM and nuvi50LM. They are priced at Rs 8,450 and Rs 9,990 respectively. Users will get 4 free map updates every year.

Some features of Garmin nuvi40LM and nuvi50LM:

  • 4.3″ widescreen LCD display for nuvi40LM and 5″ for nuvi50LM
  • Junction view
  • Lane info
  • House search to help find unevenly distributed house numbers
  • Highway mode
  • text-to-speech feature
  • voice guidance in English and Hindi

new 6″ GPS navigation systems from TomTom

TomTom has some new GPS navigation systems out. What’s common among these units is that they boast a big 6″ screen - biggest ever for TomTom so far.

These big screen GPS navigation systems from TomTom will be part of the TomTom Start lineup in Europe and TomTom Via in the U.S.

In Europe TomTom Start 60 will offer new dual mounting system which gives you the option to go with either the windshield or the dash. TomTom Start 60 will have lifetime free daily map updates and will cost about EUR 200 or GBP 170.

Some other features of the TomTom Start 60 include advanced lane guidance to help with difficult junctions, IQ routes that keep you informed on traffic updates, spoken street names, and more.

In the US of A the story is about the same only with a different name: TomTom VIA 160. This one is already available on Amazon for $230.

DR+GPS (dead reckoning + global positioning system)

Trimble introduced the new Aardvark DR+GPS module that brings together Dead Reckoning (DR) and Global Positioning System (GPS) on a single unit. The DR part becomes very important when GPS signals are weak, such as in tunnels or in big cities where skyscrapers block the sky. Aardvark DR+GPS module is geared towards system integrators or OEMs that need dead reckoning capabilities to vehicle navigation, fleet management and asset tracking systems.

Dead reckoning is the method used to guess one’s position based on direction and distance traveled since the last known position. If you have an accurate reading of the speed, time and heading, then dead reckoning will be accurate - or at least give you an idea until GPS signal available again.

The 19mm x 19mm surface mount module has an on-board gyro and collects speed and forward/reverse data from the vehicle’s sensors. Its sophisticated DR+GPS algorithm automatically calibrates the gyro and external sensors’ inputs and optimally blends this information with GPS measurements to produce accurate position and velocity outputs in hostile GPS environments such as urban canyons.

Seven new GPS navigation systems from Magellan

Magellan today announced its new Magellan RoadMate portable automobile navigation family. As of this moment we don’t have product images but we’ll update as soon as we get our hands on them.

The new models are the following:

  • RoadMate 2210 – 4.3 inch
  • RoadMate 2210T – 4.3 inch with Lifetime Traffic Alerts
  • RoadMate 2220-LM – 4.3 inch with Lifetime Map Updates (up to four times a year)
  • RoadMate 2230T-LM – 4.3 inch with Lifetime Map Updates and Lifetime Traffic Alerts
  • RoadMate 5220-LM – 5 inch with Lifetime Map Updates
  • RoadMate 5230T-LM – 5 inch with Lifetime Map Updates and Lifetime Traffic Alerts
  • RoadMate 5235T-LM – 5 inch with Lifetime Map Updates, Lifetime Traffic Alerts and Protective Sleeve

The prices range from $100 to $170 and all new Magellan RoadMate’s are preloaded with maps of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

What’s interesting with the new Magellan series is that it’s going to use - in addition to traditional street names - landmarks as guidance. Such as “turn left at the gas station” or any other easily visible landmark such as banks, etc.

The new models also feature traffic camera alerts which you get for free in the first year. You also have the junction view feature which lets you look at busy intersections in a way so you don’t panic and drive off to the side of the road.

Another new feature is the integration of which can help you easily find a parking spot. You also get speed limit assist and AAA TourBook content.

NASA’s READI GPS earthquake detection system

Nasa is testing a GPS monitoring for earthquakes in the western U.S. The goal of the system is to quickly find location and magnitude of earthquakes across the western United States. The system is called READI Mitigation Network which stands for Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster. If it works correctly it could also help with early tsunami warnings.

There will be about 500 stations in California, Oregon, and Washington which can detect the characteristics of a quake which includes things like location, magnitude, and the fault rupture.

READI is designed for earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or larger. Current technology to detect the size and location of a earthquake to predict tsunamis is not very accurate and only relies on measuring ground shaking. The new technology will be high precision and detect ground displacement via GPS. Ground deformation will be looked at by this system which will reduce the time needed to find out about the damage from a quake.