Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Navigation Mode

Yesterday, it cost $50 to fill up our van with gas.  This got me thinking that I should be using our navigation system to help reduce our gas usage.  The navigation unit will give the most direct route to the destination, so this should reduce mileage.

The only problem with this solution is that the route doesn't take into account whether the route is the most efficient for our car.  For example, the most direct route may be on city streets, while our car may not get the best mileage on those roads.

I think that this is a perfect opportunity for an upgraded navigation system.  Ideally, the navigation system would have an "Efficient" mode for routing.  This would take the behaviors of the car when doing the routing.  For example, a routing on a hybrid may prefer city streets, while routing for cars with conventional engines may prefer highways.

In addition to the types of roads, traffic patterns needs to be taken into account.  Ideally this would use traffic data from a satellite provider to route around un-optimal traffic.

This type of system could be done by an auto electronics company like Alpine.  The user could enter the characteristics of the care in the UI.  Or, this could be sold by the Auto manufacturers, where they would sell different DVDs for each model of car.