The short history of GPS

The first auto navigator in 1930

Iter Avto was the pioneer of in-car navigation systems. The first auto navigator was born in the USSR and it appeared on cars in 1930. These devices were attached to the windshield and showed information about the nearest checkpoints, road signs, and speed.

Practically simultaneously with the Soviet Union, arranged for their own development of similar devices workers of Ford Motor Company. In 1931, they made a system that allowed you to get from point A to point B along the shortest path. However, this novelty could not be called really convenient, because drove around 1 hour by car without stopping at all - just like a trip across Europe!

How did the Iter Avto navigation system work?

It was this system, which allowed you to navigate the route without looking at the map. On the windshield were drawn two lines - one red, another green. The first showed where it is necessary to turn right, the latter warned about the need of turning left.

The first system Iter Avto was composed of three elements: a rotating magnetic compass, a special device "Compass" and an electromechanical dashboard on which there were scales for determining the speed and some other symbols that are displayed depending on where stands car at this moment.

The whole working principle of auto navigator consisted in the fact that both arrows are constantly moving, each of them showing the position of six cars simultaneously. As soon as some kind of drive ahead of the arrow immediately changes his speed and direction.

In the end, the driver had to follow one arrow or another. Additionally, there were other signs that communicated about a turn further - a traffic light for example. However, this was not enough because all arrows moved very fast and were hard to catch sight of them. Exacerbated the situation even further small size of the display device, which was placed on a dashboard inside of a car cabin.

Iter Avto used wire communication to transfer information from one device to another. Each driver got a special radio receiver that worked only on certain frequencies dictated by the company. This addition made it possible for an "interpreter" avto navigator convey correct information about the route.

Iter Avto company released a number of models of navigation devices, all called differently. The first iteration was presented in 1930, and the last one came out in 1939. The difference between them was mainly technical development and equipment auto navigators.

Honda and their Electro Gyro-Cator navigation unit

In 1981, the Japanese company Honda proposed their own auto navigator. It was called Electro Gyro-Cator, and it is not different from Iter Avto in the principle of work.

Electro Gyro-Cator consisted of three elements: an auto compass, a transducer gyroscopic sensors and an indicator on the dashboard that displays data on speed and distance to travel. It was supposed that all this will manage an artificially intelligent system, which knows street networks better than people.

Thanks to its automatic system of management can determine when you need your car turned left or right, whether it takes more time on the right or on the left, etc. And thanks to his artificial intelligence (AI) she could adjust her behavior on some unexpected situations, such as a storm or accident on the road.

Electro Gyro-Cator allowed the car to travel by itself, only focusing on driving. It was one of the first devices of this kind, and it is still used today. In 2011, Honda presented the successor of Electro Gyro-Cator - an auto navigator IDS Concept. This system works based on laser radar "Lidar" which captures information about nearby objects. The advantage over earlier systems is that it can not be thrown off, because of their unmanned mode of operation.

The need for an in-car navigation system appeared when new roads were being built all over the world at once and people needed a more efficient way to get from place A to B rather than following signs and arrows to the place they wanted to go.

CD-ROM navigation system from Toyota

In 1987, Toyota has launched a brand new system that was based on CD-ROM. It allowed the driver to input the destination and provided him with a pictorial map of the device. These maps were displayed not in two-dimensional form, but as three-dimensional images that gave a better understanding of the situation.

Moreover, this auto navigator showed how much time you need to go from point A to point B, instead of showing where exactly it is necessary to turn left or right. In Japan, these systems were sold in a relatively small amount of cars - about 5%. The rest 95% preferred more traditional ways to get by car from place A to B.

Mazda Eunos Cosmo

This navigation system was presented in 1990 and its production has been limited to only 50 copies for each of two models - Cosmo and Eunos Cosmo.

This device consists of a small monitor display, which determines the route you need to take. This auto navigator works on 3 types: "manual," "automatic," and "guided," depending on what mode is set.

The most popular mode was manual, with an image that shows you where you need to turn left or right. The location of the pointer relative to the direction of movement indicates whether it is necessary to turn left or right, but not how much it needs to do so. However, such a restriction was less important, as the system shows how much time you have to turn - any more than 0.4 seconds, it means that drivers need to slow down and prepare for a turn.

In the case of automatic mode, auto navigator was even more efficient. It determines the route by itself and does not require additional input from the driver. Although there is a possibility that this device can make a mistake, resulting in the wrong path indicated on the map, this situation occurs extremely rarely.

In addition, Mazda Eunos Cosmo used voice synthesis to convey information about places that are near road users. In other words, the navigator told people what they see around them as if they were traveling with their own eyes instead of following a map onto the screen.

General Motors GuideStar

During 1992-1994, General Motors GuideStar was presented in the US and was considered to be a revolutionary system of in-car navigation.

This auto navigator is very similar to Mazda Eunos Cosmo. It has a small monitor, which tells the driver where he should go next. However, this information is provided in English and with a female voice (Guide Star Lady). In addition, it shows the road you need to take and how much time remains until your arrival at the final destination.

A distinctive feature of GuideStar was its ability to provide weather conditions on roads before departure, so drivers could change their plans if necessary. This option proved useful for people who were not prepared for such things as rain or snowstorm. For example, if it was snowing, the device would tell you that some roads were closed for cars and you could avoid traveling in such conditions.

GuideStar is widely used on GM models of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile. Unlike many similar systems produced by other manufacturers, GuideStar had no video capabilities. However, this was not considered to be shortcomings at first.

Alpine navigation system

CVA-1005 was introduced in 1997 and was equipped with a full video player and disc storage. It used map CDs that provided information for the route.

The main advantage of this device is its design. Instead of having separate screens, CVA-1005 can freely rotate and tilt display, allowing drivers to clearly see all important information. Moreover, it had an infrared remote control and an integrated 4 GB hard drive, which could store up to 50 maps (although most owners only bought one or two maps ).

As we can assume from the name "Alpine," this system was designed specifically for cars models produced by Japanese company Alpine Electronics Co., Ltd. This is not surprising as many other manufacturers create systems that are exclusively used in their vehicles. The only exception was GM GuideStar, which was made by General Motors.

However, the system has a number of shortcomings. In particular, CVA-1005 had an outdated design that did not have any interactive or voice guidance, so it required constant attention from the driver. Also, this device requires regular updates. This is due to changing conditions of roads - new roads are added, some roads disappear and prices change every year.

On the other hand, many automakers have chosen to produce their own systems rather than use third-party devices with limited functionality. Such companies as BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Hyundai Motor Company and Toyota develop in-car navigation systems for their vehicles.

Additionally, these same automakers usually buy software from Garmin Ltd., adding special features to their original layout.

Navigation systems in rental cars

Today, the in-car navigation system is an important part of the vehicle. Although it seems that these devices are not used every day, their importance becomes clear when there are problems with their operation.

Unfortunately, all parts can fail sometimes. If you have to use a navigation system on your trip, then buying one will be cheaper than renting or borrowing from a friend. However, what if you do not have time to purchase an auto navigator for your trip? If so, there is no need to worry. Many companies offer customers rental cars with built-in navigators. This gives benefits including cheap prices and convenient payment. All you need to do is pay for rent at the beginning of the employment date and return service after it expires.

Many car rental companies also offer free installation of in-car navigation devices in your car. All you need to do is choose the desired model, sign a contract and drive away with an auto navigator installed in your vehicle.

Moreover, if you are not satisfied with the delivered device, some companies will allow you to select another model for no extra cost. For example, Bourgi Rent-a-Car has over 500 models of GPS systems available with an additional fee of $ 10 (if selected when booking) or $ 20 (if requested later). The same applies to all other services that can be ordered on demand.

In addition, many companies have contracts with major satellite radio providers such as SiriusXM. This means that customers get the best in class music, up-to-date traffic information, weather forecasts, and much more.

Such companies that offer rental cars with in-car navigation systems are located in virtually every region of the United States. This makes it possible to use auto navigators when traveling through any state.

It is worth noting that each company has its own terms of service, which you should become familiar with before making a decision to rent or buy an auto navigator for your trip. Here are some tips on how to choose the right location :

  • If you plan to travel extensively throughout one city, then it would be better to find a station near your home. It will allow you not only to save money but also get into your car in just a few minutes.
  • If your trip involves traveling throughout the USA, then you should look for stations in major cities near your route. For example, if you want to drive from New York to Los Angeles, then check in advance where there are located the nearest rental stations and assess whether they provide service at all times. Otherwise, there is a threat of getting lost when moving from one city to another.

Accordingly, before renting an auto navigator think about its advantages and disadvantages and make sure that this device has everything you need (for example, if it does not have such popular services as traffic information or weather forecasts).