Can a sat nav be smarter than a human navigator? Navman thinks so, adding a feature to its new S100 GPS device that it reckons will cut down on the petrol you use.
Smart Economical Routing calculates the most fuel-efficient way to your destination, based on the type of roads and the "number of turns ahead". Navman even claims that using the new system will not "signficantly" increase the time to your arrival.
We'll be testing the S100's claims as soon as we get our driving gloves on a review unit. Until then, we can only wonder whether the new Glide Touch interface is easy to use for tapping and sliding menus as a certain GPS-enabled mobile phone. (As it lacks true mult-touch, the answer is probably not).
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Other features worth noting are: Navman's NavPix, now with over a million geo-tagged images available to download for free; easily integrated routes and points of interest from the NavDesk desktop software; and a Junction View 3D display so you don't get lost while negotiating tricky motorway connections.
The S100 itself is a slimline sat nav, measuring just 13.5mm at its thickest point and with a 4.3-inch "super flat" widescreen display. There's SiRF Instant Fix II on board for quick connections, and pre-loaded UK safety camera data (free for 12 months, then subscription required).
The S100 should be available in November, costing a shade under £200.
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Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.