In-car navigation systems are fast replacing the humble map as the de rigeur method of ensuring you get from A to B.
If you've been toying with the idea of installing such a system in your car, but have been put off by the thought of brain frying installation procedures, Blaupunkt may have the answer. It has come up with what it claims is the first integrated navigation and entertainment system that fits into a standard DIN installation compartment. What's more, it claims that it only takes an hour to install.
As opposed to the majority of navigation systems, the RNS 149 doesn't need a separate navigation CD box. The CD player in the unit doubles up as the navigation CD reader and the audio CD. So you console yourself that for the cash you're shelling out you're actually getting two devices in one.
At the beginning of a journey you key in your destination street name and instruct the system to calculate the niftiest way of getting there, based on either the shortest or fastest route, or avoiding motorways. The software can re-calculate your cars position to direct you around delays. TravelPilot also reads out navigation instructions to you, so you can keep your eyes on the road -- always advisable -- rather than pouring over a screen. Or, if its voice starts to grate, you can always cast a glance over the graphical display, with a directional arrow and progress bar.
A small antenna fitted to the back of your windscreen uses the Global Positioning System to calculate its position. This clever little thing then matches the position of the road network to the electronic maps stored on the navigation CD to pinpoint its exact position down to the last metre. So you need never worry about being lost and alone again. In the shops now for £1099.
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