You're on ... the right road

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Finding your way has just entered the Information age. Forget paper maps and hastily scribbled route plans: leave behind the frustrations of missing street names and unexpected no-right-turns. Equip your car with CARiN and let high technology look after the navigation while you concentrate on the road. We’ve all driven with navigators whose grasp of local geography is tenuous, despite an open map on their laps. CARIN is different. When it tells you “Turn right ahead”, you know the road won’t be a cul-de-sac or farm track. Unless that’s where you want to go.

CARiN always knows precisely where you are, where you are headed, and the best way to get you there. Just key In your destination and CARiN does the rest, guiding you by spoken Instructions and visual display. If you still take a wrong turn, it’s no problem: CARiN will recognise the mistake and re-route you automatically. If you find yourself In a traffic jam, instruct CARiN to route you around it.

The system can be fitted to your car at a specialist CARIN centre, though increasingly new cars are offering it as a factory-fit option. CARIN is already available in BMW 7-series, and will soon be on the 5-series too. In the near future it will be offered In Renaults, Mitsubishi Shoguns and Range Rovers too. Other manufacturers are set to join the list soon.

Alternatively you can have CARIN retro-fitted to your car it costs £2995 and takes less than half a day.

Philips began work on CARIN 13 years ago, researching the best way to combine GPS satellite navigation with digital maps stored on CD-Rom. Then it liaised extensively with car manufacturers to ensure that the system is both easy to fit and easy to use. As project boss Martin Thoone says, You don’t need a PhD to use it.” After only a few minutes tuition. using [RAIN becomes second nature. And CARIN is much more than an electronic road atlas. Its digital maps also include details of Important amenities and sites of local interest hospitals, schools, filling stations, restaurants, hotels, museums etc. So CARIN is guide book and navigator rolled into one.

All this additional Information is derived from the AA’s comprehensive databases, and from teams of researchers sent out to ply the roads, meticulously noting all their important features. To keep track of changes, new map discs are issued every six months. So CARIN isn’t just easier to use and more fully detailed than any paper map it’s more up-to-date too. Experts predict that. in 10 to 15 years, most Cars will have an on-board navigation system like this.

Yours can today

How it works

CARIN’s principal components are:

a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, using satellites to determine the car’s position anywhere in the world

speedo sensors and an on-board gyroscope to provide “dead reckoning” navigational capability

a digital map stored on CD-ROM

a CD-ROM drive to read the digital map

micro-computer to control the system

a liquid crystal display and voice synthesiser to convey directions Once a destination is specified, the computer consults the digital map to calculate the optimum route a process that usually takes only a few seconds. It then relays step-by-step directions to the driver, continuously monitoring the car’s position via the GPS receiver and on-board dead reckoning system. The system automatically accommodates wrong turns. If re-routing is not possible. CARIN instructs the driver to turn around.

A STEP BY-STEP GUIDE TO USING CARIN

The moment you turn on your car’s ignition, CARIN kicks in, ready for your next destination. Within seconds of keying in your destination right down to road name and house number the system’s computer is able to consult map data stored on a CD-rom and select the best route. It then directs you, turn by turn, using verbal and graphic instructions, leaving you free to concentrate on driving. In addition to voice commands, the system provides a variety of visual displays on an easy-to-read colour monitor. On-screen menus make entering your destination and setting up the system easy (top picture). You can choose a map display with variable scales, allowing a close up examination of the area (second picture) with street names and amenities such as garages, hotels, train stations and airports. Once you are moving, verbal route instructions are backed up with clear visual signals (third picture) and an indicator that counts you down by the yard (or metre) to your next destination. The mileage remaining is displayed too. CARIN offers a choice of routes: main roads or a more scenic route. If you stray from the course. CARIN will re-route automatically. You can also instruct it to re-route in a traffic jam and the variable scale also allows you to choose a display giving an overview of the area.

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