November 16, 2006

Dash Navigation Taps Tele Atlas for Industry-Leading Digital Map Data

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Dash is making another move to make their Dash Express stand out in the pack; namely realtime updating of maps. They are partnering with Teleatlas to get the latest maps from them and send them wirelessly to your Dash unit. This gets rid of the #1 complaint among GPS users: Out of date maps. You've all seen the calls to fix the Teleatlas database (My Editorial on TomTom for one, where I also called for realtime map updates). I have seen activity indicating to me that Teleatlas was on the move. The vibe I got this summer in talking to one of their mappers (see the middle of this review), the Map Insight program to collect consumer feedback on mapping issues and the fact that you can't continue to run a business with such glaring outages, all told me that something had to change.

By leveraging Dash Express' unique two-way wireless connectivity along with Tele Atlas' highly accurate, comprehensive digital map data, Dash will provide seamless, automatic map updates that require no effort whatsoever from consumers. Through this relationship, Dash will use Tele Atlas' newly released MultiNet 2006.10 digital map development platform - read "Up to date maps." Usually GPS companies need to update maps once or so a year through a CD/DVD release. In fact Mio and TomTom still don't have my street on their devices because they are still using older Teleatlas maps. Teleatlas mapped it this summer, so they will release that data to their customers, and then in the new year, I would get an update with my street on my GPS..... No doubt a realtime update would have already pumped the data to my GPS.

Citizen Mappers - is this the future?
I will say that the breakthrough change will come when Dash takes their two-way communication capabilities and the anonymous data from the Dash Express GPS units and then uses that to map new areas. A fleet of 50,000- 500,000 GPS units would map the new roads faster than a few dozen vans criss-crossing the country. Further data refinement would be needed, but this distributed network of "citizen mappers" would tell you where you have a new road, and where your outages are.

Back to the current news...

With Dash Express' automatic updating process, drivers will always have the most accurate map data and POI content at their fingertips, ensuring they are able to easily find the people, products and places of interest and the best routes to them," said Tele Atlas Vice President of Personal Navigation Quan Vu. "By working with Dash, we're able to support their innovative approach to making navigation technology accessible and easy for the end-user."

"With robust digital maps developed with Tele Atlas' comprehensive MultiNet database and the two-way connectivity of the Dash Express, we're taking navigation to a whole new level," said Dash Navigation Chief Executive Officer Paul Lego. "Consumers don't want to have to think about updating their map data -- they just want a smart device that helps them get where they need to go. We're proud to partner with an industry leader like Tele Atlas who shares our vision for connecting people to the information they need while on the road."

Dash Express will ship with pre-loaded POIs (such as restaurants, gas stations, ATMs, etc.) provided by Tele Atlas and the capacity to add additional personalized destination categories based on user preferences from the MyDash Web site. In addition, Dash Destination Search(TM) brings the power of Internet "local-search" engines into the vehicle, instantly providing access to an unlimited amount of relevant, location-based POIs.

Dash Express Availability and Pricing

Dash Express will be available from http://www.dash.net/ and select retailers in California in early 2007, and will be available nationally in summer 2007. While the exact pricing for the Dash Express has not yet been announced, it will be comparable to other advanced GPS products on the market.

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Posted by Scott Martin at November 16, 2006 9:15 AM

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