ETAK Navigation System

ETAK Navigation System is one of the earliest car-navigation systems developed and is world’s first publicly available automobile-navigation system.

ETAK has a glowing green monitor and contains some of the first digital maps of the Bay Area on a tape. It can show latitude and longitude in addition to freeway signs. The really interesting thing with ETAK navigation system is that it doesn’t positioning satellites to figure out where you are. It uses dead-reckoning. There’s a compass in the back of the car, a large processing unit, and many cassette tapes with the digital maps. The clever part is in the wheels. There are magnetic beads that send information to the computer about how fast the car is going, when it is turning, etc.

Oh. ETAK also can’t give you directions. It only shows you where you are on a map.

Back in late 1980’s this system cost about $1500 and the company is now part of Dutch TomTom.

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