Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dash Express GPS Software/Traffic Model Updates


As most of you might guess from reading this blog, I'm big on social collaboration and 'crowdsourcing'. I've mentioned Dash Navigation in the past, since I think they epitomize that notion quite well. Gizmodo had a blurb about Dash's first major software/traffic model update today.

Quoting from the article:

"The Dash Express GPS just received its first historic traffic model update using the live Dash data gathered by users. That'll help predict traffic in areas where no Dash or other trusted data sources have been in the last 15 minutes. By end of month, a software update is coming with tweaks in performance, stability and routing."

I for one certainly hope that Dash becomes more successful and ubiquitous, not just for the cool collaborative traffic and their other features, but mainly for the ability to update maps over-the-air. I have a Nissan Murano with a built-in navigation system that works well (for the most part), but on a trip to Reno this past weekend, there were two huge gaps in the map data which caused us to have to extrapolate our position manually. While this is at most a minor inconvenience, the worst part was that we just recently purchased the new map DVD for $190, and then they turn around and send us an email for the 'updated' DVD at another $190. Besides annoying me no end, this makes me yearn for Dash's much simpler (and cheaper) alternative for map updates.

I'm watching Dash closely, and may take the plunge once the hardware gets slimmed down a bit (which it inevitably will). These guys have the right idea, and if they can stick to their guns and resist the urge to compete feature to feature (with Bluetooth dialing for example) with the Garmin's and TomTom's of the world, I think they'll be alright. Most people don't need or want 50 features, just 5 that are killer and work flawlessly.

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