NAVTEQ, which provides maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, has launched a new product that promises to materially change the way navigation systems interact with users. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance will allow people to provide directions to each other through descriptive reference cues.
The system was launched at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.
NAVTEQ Natural Guidance directs users through distinctive points of interest, such as “turn right after the yellow shop” or “turn right at the traffic signal.”
According to NAVTEQ, research has shown that users want more practical directions, as they are easy to follow and encourages drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
“Natural Guidance provides the kind of directions we want as people,” said Tiffany Treacy, NAVTEQ senior vice-president of product management.
“It challenges the man-machine status quo of how navigation systems have worked for years by finally enabling the kind of guidance that sounds like it’s coming from a friend who is riding along with you.
“This is a revolutionary first step toward more natural and ultimately more personalised experiences,” she said.
The system also employs a variety of importance criteria, which optimises when and how the directions are presented.
It acknowledges if reference points look different if they’re obscured, if approached in a different direction or if the weather affects the reference point.
NAVTEQ Natural Guidance is available for Berlin, Chicago, Dehli, London, Los Angeles, New York and Paris. It will be available to most European cities by the end of 2011.