JetBlue Airlines will use navigation system to save on fuel

JetBlue got its approval from FAA to use their new navigation system to save fuel and time when landing in New York. We reported on Southwest Airlines doing something similar about 2 years ago but it looks like this will be a first for JFK airport.

Using the new navigation system will allow the pilot use a shorter path during landing which will save time and about 18 gallons of jet fuel (~$50?) for each flight. At the same time it should help the congestion at the airport to some degree. Another advantage in using the new navigation system will be the ability make landings in weather conditions that previously didn’t allow pilots to attempt.

some thoughts on Garmin, TomTom, and Apple

A short and sweet article on InvestorPlace about Garmin, TomTom, and Apple.

Prior to the advent of smartphones in 2007 with the debut of the first iPhone, Garmin was the name in portable global positioning systems (you know, GPS) and satellite-guided driving directions. However, once consumers started to realize smartphones could do the same — as well as play music, be a flashlight and even test the ripeness of a watermelon — the choice became something of a no-brainer: Smartphones win, and Garmin devices lose. The sales numbers and Garmin’s stock price since then have somewhat — though not radically — reflected that opinion.

Apple licences maps with TomTom, Garmin stock lower

Apple just unveiled iOS6 couple of days ago. One of the things we were looking forward to was the new Maps feature in iOS6. The new feature in iOS will stop using Google Maps and will apparently use maps data from TomTom along with map related data. We’re not sure what Apple will be using to generate turn by turn directions when the OS will be released in fall though.

TomTom shares rose 25% within the last 5 days where as Garmin shares lost 5%.

new GPS watch from Nike and Tomtom

Nike just unveiled their new site and at the same time -with TomTom- announced a new models for the Nike+ SportWatch series.

The new thing Nike came up with is Nikefuel which is pretty much your mileage turned into a universal units that also apply to other sports. This way you can have a swimmer compete with a runner somehow.

They have new colors out for the Nike+ Sportwatch which now include black/anthracite, anthracite/blue glow and volt green. The starting price for the entry level one is $150. This does not come with a shoe sensor but it supports it if you decide to buy it after the fact. If you want to get both the shoe sensor and the watch then you’re going to have to pay $169.

Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS camera

This is a very well designed GPS camera from Pentax. It’s their 13th generation model with super rugged features. It has a backlit 16MP CMOS sensor, can resist depths of 40 feet under water, shock proof to 5 feet, can operate in temperatures as low as 14F (-10C), and is dustproof. It has a wide angle internal zoom, 3″ LCD, and the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

Optio WG-2 has 6 macro LEDs which is used digital microscope mode that is accompanied with a macro focus ring so you can get as close as 1cm to your subject.

The GPS feature lets you record positional data with images for geo-tagging applications, as well as position logging and flexible time sync when traveling.

Garmin zumo 350LM

Garmin announced the zūmo 350LM GPS navigator for motorcyclists. It mounts on the handle bars and is waterproof. Garmin zumo 350LM is going to be available in the 3rd quarter of 2012 and will cost $700. Here are some of the features and facts for Garmin zumo 350LM:

  • Highly visible, sunlight-readable 4.3″ glove-friendly touchscreen display
  • Waterproof to IPX7; built tough with fuel-resistant plastics
  • turn-by-turn spoken directions with a Bluetooth-enabled helmet or headset
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Preview services at highway exits
  • Lane assist with junction view

zūmo 350LM comes with lifetime map updates for North America and/or Europe.

Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM: GPS navigation for trucks

Magellan recently announced Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM GPS device which is designed for truckers supporting a large 7″ display, customizable truck-specific routing, hands-free communication and trip logging. With the 9270-LM from Magellan drivers can enter the height, weight, width and length of their vehicle, in addition to potential hazmat restrictions. Also another important feature for this GPS navigation system is the multi-destination routing so drivers can plan their stops and optimize routes.

Other features of the Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM include bluetooth connectivity which when paired with a compatible phone, enables drivers to talk hands-free.

The device also gets some tedious work done too. It helps prepare required compliance reports including hours and state mileage for IFTA fuel records.

There are currently two GPS navigation systems in this family: The 7-inch Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM for $400 and the 5-inch Magellan RoadMate Commercial 5190T for $380.

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.