NAVTEQ Natural Guidance promises friendlier GPS commands

NAVTEQ is behind the maps on some of the most popular GPS units in the world – and a new technology from their labs may help make those GPS units “friendlier”.

At the moment, most GPS units are pretty dull – they tell you when to turn, and where to turn, but their commands are hardly friendly. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance is designed to deliver turn by turn directions the same way a human would give them. Instead of telling you to “turn left on Spooner street after 100 feet”, the system generates its guidance based of natural landmarks – providing commands like “turn left at the white water tower”.

The technology has not (yet) made it into any devices, but the experience is on display at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in a demo version of NNG’s iGO MyWay navigation application.

Other upcoming technologies include NAVTEQ Green Streets designed to deliver optimized routing for hybrid vehicles and a routing system designed for electric vehicles that minimizes hilly terrain and regular start/stop streets.