Newcomer Dash is seeking 2,000 drivers across the country to beta test a new concept in satellite navigation. Instead of relying primarily on data stored on a DVD or flash memory, Dash Express uses two-way Internet connectivity to a deliver an impressive array of features.
This approach would tackle many of the items on my GPS wish list. Among the highlights:
- Two way communication. This enables quicker, automatic updates of map data, as well as interactive features.
- Live traffic and routing. Real-time and historical traffic data are used in calculating routes. The Dash Express unit also serves as a traffic probe, reporting back information on speed and location to help improve traffic forecasts for other Dash users. (I presume that the data will also be sold to other traffic providers.)
- Yahoo! Local Search integration.
- Send to car. You can program your destination from your PC.
There’s no indication on their Web site about how the Internet connectivity is handled. Some GPS units will pair with Bluetooth mobile phones, but my hunch is Dash will resell wholesale data from one of the major carriers.
I can’t wait to get my hand on one.