BMWs New microNavigation Technology
Many people rely on their in-dash navigation system for help when finding a destination in an unfamiliar area. Heading off to a new place can be confusing enough just to get there, but now where do you park? Current navigation systems, both in-dash and hand-held types, have limited databases of such detailed information.
To take care of this issue, BMW is developing a microNavigation system called Pathfinder to supplement the data stored onboard the car. Pathfinder allows you to download more detailed information about your destination in the form of a MicroMap to a memory card before you leave the house. When the card is inserted into the car, the data is added to the built-in navigation information. The more detailed information can even work with a camera used for lane departure warning to tell the driver which lane they should be in to catch ramps and entries to highways or parking structures.
Once the car is parked, the data can be transferred to a smartphone or other mobile device for the final leg of the trip. The phone can guide you directly to your destination and in can even remember where you parked. When more vehicles are offered with their own mobile data connections, this data could even be downloaded directly straight to the car on the fly. All of this will require the creation of far more detailed maps than exist today; also it’s not clear if current map data providers will produce these microMaps. Google is incorporating much of this information from its search index, however, its recent deals with Ford and General Motors’ OnStar, it could soon be the default provider for every automaker.