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Car Navigation Systems...Built in or Portable?

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Navigation systems for your car... .built in or portable? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Those GPS or satellite navigation systems available in increasing numbers of cars are getting better all of the time... but the problem has been price. The systems can add a couple of thousand dollars to the cost of a car. TravRoute Software... .a company that has been making mapping and GPS software for notebook and handheld computers for years... .is trying to convince buyers and automakers... that portability is a better option. CEO Alain Kornhauser ... who heads the Transportation Research Program at Princeton University... says the just announced decision by BMW to offer an iPaq docking station in its Mini line of vehicles is a breakthrough...

"And so what it will do is, you'll just bring in your iPaq and they'll have a docking station. You'll just slip it in and then it's just integrated with the vehicle's diagnostic system, it's integrated with the vehicle's GPS system.."

Using TravRoute's software. It is first being introduced in Europe by BMW... and Kornhauser hopes it will catch on quickly...

"For the more expensive vehicle it may be appropriate for you to buy a built in system. For the lesser expensive vehicles, spending two to three thousand dollars for a navigation system ... that's ten to fifteen percent of the price of the vehicle. So the concept for the lower priced vehicles is to create these docking stations."

That will allow owners to take their navigation system... from car to car. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.