updated 01:45 pm EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
Garmin details 2012 nuvi PNDs due in October
Garmin on Wednesday took the covers off the 2012 lineup of its nuvi portable GPS navigation devices. Some sport either the new Guidance 2.0 or 3.0 navigation engines that are said to offer a faster interface and more features. The six lines were divvied up into three categories: Essential, Advanced and Prestige.
The Essential range gets the nuvi 30, 40 and 50 series. The entry-level devices give turn-by-turn directions and speak out street names.
The nuvi 2405 and 2505 series make up the Advanced series. These sport Guidance 2.0 and are meant for multi-taskers. They are faster than the Essential series and show businesses on a map, letting users select them without having to go through menus. Some have voice-recognition for hands-free operation.
Guidance 2.0 will show exits and key junctions using the photoReal junction view with realistic renderings of road signs. The database of photoReal views is up to 60,000 in the US and Canada. 3D Traffic is also part of Guidance 2.0, getting information two billion times a month from other nuvi PNDs, cellphone users, radio feeds, news stations, fixed traffic sensors and historical traffic data. trafficTrends, meanwhile, uses traffic flow patterns to try and predict future ones.
Finally, the Prestige devices include the nüvi 3400 series with Guidance 3.0 preloaded. The devices are under 9mm thick, making them the thinnest GPS units in the world. They have a pinch-to-zoom-capable touchscreen and automatic screen orientation.
Compared to Guidance 2.0, the higher tier adds myTrends, a feature that saves frequently traveled routes that the unit predicts without any user input needed. Safe Texting lets users receive and hear text messages without the use of their hands. photoReal gets an enhanced Bird's Eye junction view that uses a different overhead perspective. 3D Traffic gets additional information from the HD Radio Broadcasting System.
Digital 3D traffic is for US owners only and sends traffic updates every 30 seconds.
The new devices ship this October, with pricing and more information yet to be revealed.