• Jul 9, 2009
Navigation systems have quickly gone from being an interactive way to direct one from Point A to Point B to massive infotainment centerpieces capable of MP3 player integration, web browsing and wifi. Auto Express is reporting that GPS units could go 3D as soon as next year, because advancements in hardware could make the technology feasible with already available dual image LCD screens (like the one in the 2010 Jaguar XJ).

If you're thinking that you're going to have to wear those goofy paper 3D glasses to find the nearest McDonalds, that's not the case. Faster processors and increased memory will enable the LCD to oscillate between two images fast enough to give the illusion of depth. The incorporation of important landmarks embedded within the 3D image ought to go leaps and bounds towards finding your destination easier.

In the near term, it's likely that the functionality will first be available in aftermarket systems, with OEM models becoming available after the tech becomes a bit more mainstream. Actually, Clarion has been selling a 3D nav system in the UK for over a year and Sony and Panasonic have had the tech available in Japan, so it's more a matter of when, not if, the tech will be available in North America.

[Source: Auto Express]


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  • 11 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't want 3D navigation in my car unless the car can fly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That looks pretty cool. I hope they find a way to make the buildings have color, windows, tile, ect. instead of being gray blocks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it's pretty cool but I doubt that smaller cities and towns will be supported. I think the best way to go is to have a camera mounted on your vehicle with road names and directions overlaid. This kind of thing could work on a typical Navi display or in a heads up display on the windshield.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To echo other comments so far - this is hardly news.

      The REAL innovation in 3D (or any) navigation is going to be systems that project route onto the windshield, ala HUD in planes. Most conventional nav systems are being replaced by phones anyway so...
        • 5 Years Ago
        "How do you guys not understand this concept?!?! "

        I don't think anyone who's read Shunk's synopsis and looked at the graphic he included would get 'this concept' as he doesn't even touch on it. instead we have to click the link to learn the blogger completely misunderstood the topic he's posting on.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How do you guys not understand this concept?!?! It's not about a simple 3-d rendering being displayed on a 2-d screen. It's about the screen rapidly cycling through multiple images to trick your eyes into thinking that the objects are actually protruding from the screen! it won't look like it's on the screen, it will look like it's growing right out of the screen
      • 5 Years Ago
      About time! Japan has had 3D navigation units since the 90's. It's crazy how long it takes us to catch up with the technology in other countries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the physical size and relatively low population density of the US slows down technologies like this. You can test new technology in the relatively small confines of Japan much more efficiently. Cell phone technology evolves there (and in Europe) more quickly also.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW factory navigation in the 2009 3 series, 1 series and 2010 7 series incorporate this capability. The cities where it is available is limited but growing (largest populations first). It may be awhile before Mule's Ass Idaho has the "sac n suds" in 3D.