updated 03:00 pm EDT, Thu September 21, 2006
Rand McNally GPS Navigator
GPS units almost always demand that the user choose a destination before plotting its course, but the well-known mapmaker Rand McNally today introduced a system that can suggest its own tours. While the GPS Navigator shares the standard ability to program destinations or find hotels and restaurants, its preloaded North American atlas also includes more than two dozen different suggested trips, each of which not only takes the driver to scenic locations (such as the Maine coast) but also recommends specific food, rest, and shopping at the destination points. The GPS Navigator further offers features above and beyond more basic units: a Detour button automatically finds an alternative path if the route is slow, and the Go Home button immediately calculates the return trip regardless of where the user may be. An MP3 player is also part of the software for the GPS Navigator, which starts shipping on Friday for $500.