If you just bought a automotive GPS unit it’s probably obsolete. Garmin has released nine new automotive GPS units so far this year. That’s about 2 per month. One has to wonder when will it all stop. No wonder Navigon quit the US market, they just couldn’t keep up.
The new releases don’t really offer any new features, but do have a new sleek slim design and some very attractive prices. The Nuvi 1490T that is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2009 will sport the new slim design and a 5″ bright color screen. Prior to the release of this unit the largest screen available on the market was 4.3″. Will this foretell of things to come?
Some states (Minnesota and California) have restrictions on mounting GPS units on the windshield of your car. Minnesota forbids mounting on the windshield and California restricts mounting the unit to two small locations on the windshield. Reason being that these states feel the units restrict the visibility of the driver. Granted most units do come with a dash-disc for mounting the suction cup windshield mount to your dash, but if you affix the dash-disc to your dashboard don’t plan on removing it. It’s there for keeps.
So will the new units have larger screens? Who knows, but if they do I think you’ll see more states take a look at where you can mount the units.
I would suspect that future units may include some type of tracking device, whether a recorder, data pusher or real-time. I think you can also look forward to an expansion of the “traffic alert” feature being included with the new units. Although there are just two providers of this service, not including MSN Direct, Navteq and TMC both have limited service although TMC has a little better coverage than Navteq, I think you’ll see this service expand. A number of the new offerings by Garmin now include a lifetime subscription to Navteq traffic alerts and all are compatible with both services as an option.