updated 01:40 pm EST, Thu November 9, 2006
Panasonic Car Navigation
Panasonic on Thursday provided an early glimpse of its first car entertainment system with built-in navigation. Previously known only for its media support in cars, Panasonic has added a GPS unit to its CN-NVD905U that comes preloaded with maps of Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US as well as detailed information about 39 US cities. The built-in DVD drive can further expand available charts. Another built-in function of the NVD905U, its support for satellite radio, transforms the mapping function into a traffic warning system: Sirius subscribers with an external receiver and access to the network's traffic service can view traffic conditions directly on the map, allowing them to choose an alternate route in advance. Panasonic's system also supports XM Satellite Radio. Integration with the iPod is equally tight, according to the company. The new head unit can play an iPod's audio and video through any of a car's entertainment systems, including rear headrest models. Bluetooth and support for MP3/WMA CD audio complete the available features. Panasonic hopes to release its pioneering navigation system in spring of 2007 and has not announced a price.