January 7, 2008

Avis Launches Updated Where2 GPS - Based on Nuvi 780

Avis and Garmin announced that they are putting out an upgraded Where2 GPS for rental locations across the US. The unit is based on the Garmin Nuvi 780; a high end unit that is also equipped with MSN Direct services that will help business travelers get things done with traffic, weather and stock/news updates.

In an interesting move, Avis is rolling out the ability to pre-program an SD chip using their website and when you pick up your Where2 GPS, you drop the card in it and you can now navigate to those pre-planned locations.

Avis Rent A Car today unveiled a new version of Where2(TM), the Company's fully portable Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation device that offers numerous additional features. The new, slimmer unit features a larger, high-brightness display screen, turn-by-turn directions spoken in more than 40 languages and added services
such as traffic alerts, weather reports, stock and news updates, Amber Alerts and movie listings provided by MSN Direct. Avis's Where2 units will continue be manufactured by Garmin, a leader in GPS navigation, now based on Garmin's nuvi 780 model.

"The popularity of Where2 with Avis renters has far exceeded our initial projections, and demand continues to grow each month," said Michael Caron, vice president of product and program development for Avis Budget Group, parent company of Avis. "We're proud to introduce a new version and team up with MSN Direct to provide customers with up-to-the minute stock and news updates, and other critical information that business travelers can utilize to maximize the productivity of their time away from home."

The new Where2 system continues to offer Avis customers an array of navigation features including a simple user interface, notification of upcoming traffic snarls/construction tie-ups and recommended alternate routes, Bluetooth hands-free calling capability, three-dimensional maps and MP3 audio playback capability.

"The new, slimmer Where2 unit provides even greater portability and convenience," Mr. Caron added. "It fits easily into a pocket, handbag or briefcase, so if you have to park some distance from your destination, you can use Where2 to help guide you to your destination and avoid getting lost in an unfamiliar downtown area. Using our new destination planning Web site, you can pre-program the unit with addresses for business meetings or even historical sites to enable a great walking tour of a city during downtime."

Avis customers who rent Where2 can pre-program such destination information at myWhere2.com or anywhere else on the Web onto a Secure Digital (SD) memory card that can be transferred into the new Where2 units when they pick up their rental vehicle. To use this feature, customers must first download a plug-in available at www.avis.com/mywhere2 and create a bookmark to send addresses of places they want to visit to their personal SD card. When finished, customers can use any Web site or tool to find an address or point of interest and save the addresses directly to their SD memory card, and thus quickly and conveniently program their GPS unit to be able to maximize their productivity while traveling.

Avis's long-standing tradition of offering technology innovations helps travelers avoid delays while in their travel destination, and thus gain more free time to get work done, or to enjoy leisure activities or vacation time. A study of more than 6,000 Avis business customers found that as much as three hours or more of an average three-day trip is wasted being stuck in traffic jams, lost while driving, waiting to pay tolls and trying to find a high-speed Internet connection. Avis customers can reduce these delays by taking advantage of Avis Where2 GPS navigation systems, Avis Connect portable Wi-Fi
Internet access, and Avis's eToll electronic toll collection solutions in most
major markets.

The new Where2 devices will be available beginning in March. Pricing is $11.95 per day or $49.75 per week.

Read More in: CES 2008 | Garmin GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 7, 2008 10:04 PM

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