WE DO NOT carry portable navigation devices only In-Car Navigation systems, we are only going to focus on the features and benefits that are important for automobile navigation.
Maps. Most GPS units come either with pre-loaded maps, or come with maps on CD-ROMs that must be transferred to the GPS unit via a computer. Maps are either stored on compact flash cards or on internal or sometimes removable hard drives. Map updates occur every one to three years depending on manufacturer.
Built-in road maps or street level mapping. Street level mapping is an essential component of an in-vehicle GPS unit. This is a useful feature when visiting new cities, unfamiliar areas, or when looking for a detour route to avoid poor traffic conditions. Some models have all street level maps built-in, others require the user download the maps from a personal computer or laptop via compact flash card or direct USB interface.
Address to address routing. This is probably the most important feature offered by this type of navigation system. The user inputs the specific address of their destination and the GPS unit will automatically guide the user to that point.
Route Capability. Also known as automatic destination routing, this feature is available on most models. If you miss a turn while driving, the GPS unit will automatically recalculate your route.
Turn-by-turn instructions. Some units not only have the ability to route you to your destination, but will also give you turn-by-turn instructions. These instructions are delivered via visual display (arrows), voice command, or both. Voice command is especially nice so the driver does not have take his or her eyes off the road to receive the next driving direction.
Points of Interest (POI). Along with map information, most units also include handy Points of Interest already loaded in the navigation database. Pre-stored points of interest can include things like restaurants, gas stations, rest stops, amusement parks, lodging, or emergency services. Most in-vehicle units have at least 2 million POI’s to choose from. This can be very handy for road trips or unfamiliar areas when a food or bathroom break is top priority!
Waypoints. These are user-determined Points of Interest. Not all GPS units have this capability and will only let you route to addresses or pre-determined POI’s. Waypoints allow the user to determine his or her own points-of-interest, by pointing to a destination on the map rather than entering in an address. Some units feature address book storage rather than waypoint storage.
WAAS Capability. WAAS stands for Wide Area Augmentation System. It a system of ground-based reference stations used to correct errors in GPS signals caused by ionospheric delays, signal reflection, individual satellite clock drift, and other small inaccuracies that can cause the GPS signal to be slightly off. Without WAAS, GPS units have an accuracy of approximately 20 to 40 feet. With WAAS enabled, the accuracy improves to approximately 6 to 10 feet! Currently WAAS is most effective on the east and west coasts, but more WAAS reference stations and satellites are currently being developed.