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Portable infotainment device connects to CAN

Garmin (USA) has announced the Maps + More Live portable infotainment device for Volkswagen up! vehicles. It provides an infotainment package, including navigation, a media player, vehicle information and Bluetooth hands-free capabilities.

THE RECENTLY INTRODUCED DEVICE ADDS connected services, such as real-time traffic and weather information, local search provided by Yelp, as well as safety camera warnings. Users connect their smartphone to the device via Bluetooth to enable the services (free for the first four weeks and available for a one-time fee of 29,95 € afterwards), utilizing their existing data plan. The portable device features a 5-inch touchscreen and is fully integrated into the vehicle. It is available as a factory-installed option for Volkswagen up!-vehicles in Australia and Europe.

The portable device has access to the CAN network of the car to provide information on average fuel-consumption, driving time and the number of revolutions per minute. The system also warns the driver if the car is low on fuel, so they can navigate to the closest gas station. The integrated Think Blue Trainer analyzes driving behavior and provides feedback on fuel consumption to help drive more eco friendly and save money on gas.

The device provides drivers with a navigation feature set with spoken turn-by-turn directions and an intuitive map interface with crisp graphics and 3D landmarks for clear orientation. Additional navigation functions include lane assistance, speed limit warnings, route tracking, parking and TMC traffic information. Users can control the system via voice command. One-shot address entry, for example, allows users to speak an address without taking the hands off the wheel or the eyes off the road. The device lets users control crucial radio functions on touchscreen. It also integrates an MP3 player and an SD card slot to transfer songs. The integrated Bluetooth hand-free functionality also enables drivers to listen to their favorite music from their smartphone through the car’s speakers. Whenever the device gives turn-by-turn directions, music will automatically fade out.

Additionally, the system also supports other vehicle functions. A parking assistant uses sensors to provide audio signals as well as visual guidance on the device screen to help drivers get into a parking spot. The integrated door warner informs drivers when vehicle doors aren’t entirely closed. Since the infotainment device is portable, updating the maps is easier than with in-dash navigation systems. Users install a dedicated software program on their computer and connect their device to download the latest maps. Regular map updates for two years are available at a onetime fee of 99 € (19,95 € within the first 30 days of use)

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