Volkswagen, Google Working Together on Nav Systems

Now here's a novel idea — combine Google Maps with automotive navigation. Google and Volkswagen showed off such a system at the CES show in Las Vegas last month; now the companies have teamed up with chipmaker nVidia to turn the prototype into something we'll see at center dash in coming model cycles. Volkswagen's Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL), in Palo Alto, Calif is development ground zero for the system — which will feature photo-realistic, high-res 3D maps, real-time traffic updates and routing and car-to-car communication. No word on whether Google's rumored teleportation portal will be standard or optional. Click through for press release.

Press Release:

VOLKSWAGEN AND GOOGLE TEAM UP TO EXPLORE FUTURE VEHICLE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
Virtual Reality: Prototype with Google Earth creates realistic 3D, satellite-based map

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Google presented the future of vehicle navigation at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and it s closer to virtual reality than ever before.

Volkswagen, Google, and graphics chipmaker, nVidia, are working on an in-car navigation map system and display that is 3-dimensional and more real looking than anything that s available today.

Driver and Passenger will be able to instinctively recognize where they are in relation to the surrounding topography, especially in urban areas that are depicted with depth and accurate size relationships between buildings and roads.

Volkswagen, working through its Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL), in Palo Alto, Calif., together with Google and nVidia, is also working on other advancements, including automatic personalized content updates for its vehicle navigation systems.

Highlights of Volkswagen s prototype vehicle include a vehicle-centric touchscreen interface to Google Earth with state-of-the-art graphics, accurate 3D maps and real-time traffic updates and routing. This open system harnesses the power of the web to maintain a dynamic database of current information on restaurants, dealerships, gas stations and other points of interest that can be overlaid directly onto the user s 3D map. With the increasing accuracy of GPS, dead-reckoning and laser-radar imaging, as well as ever-improving car-to-infrastructure communication, this prototype will be available on showroom floors in the near future.

High-quality 3D and satellite-based representations of the world are becoming an exciting feature in on-line search engines and navigation. These photo-realistic, high-resolution 3D images are not only more engaging for the user, but they are also more efficient and accurate at conveying information than traditional 2D mapping representations.

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