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Click above to view the video after the jump

Until cars drive themselves and we absolutely can't get lost, automakers and sat nav companies are steadily enhancing the graphics of navigation systems to make it easier to find the next right turn. Navigation systems in Renaults, for instance, provide a graphic representation of buildings that you'll see as you drive along, and now Microsoft, working with researchers at the University of Konstanz in Germany, have added video to navigational maps.

The project took the snapshots of cities collected by mapping companies (like Google Streetview does) and 'plays' them like video at important sections of the route. The text route and route overview are still provided, the video simply aids in noting or remembering where you need to remember a crucial direction.

You can watch the video before you actually get in your car so that, like cheating for an exam, you'll visually recognize the turn or a landmark when the time comes. The photographs are also skewed as necessary to create the right perspective, and when you get to a turn, the video will look in the proper direction beforehand so that you can note specific features. It's currently still in trial phase, but during the first study it improved people's ability to follow direction by 20 percent. Follow the jump to watch the video, and here's to no more getting lost. Soon.

[Source: Microsoft and MIT]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have been waiting for this!
      Plus, I'd like to see virtual navigation of waterways. Even if not done with a real camera, but to simulate travel down creeks, into streams, rivers, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      how about we all just keep our eyes on the road
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is not an in-car technology. It's to help you visualize the route prior to driving.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "This is not an in-car technology"

        Yet. Someday it will be and that day may not be far off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now that it thinking ahead....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just wait for 3D picture GPS systems. This is just redudant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      saw this one coming.... sure did
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't wait to go to Paris for free!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was never particularly interested in crossing the Equator. Cheers, anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LoL Realy good thinking...

        I'm waiting for my free turism as well. Too bad those new mapping tecnologies are only in US and Europe regions. If you ever want to come down here below the Equator, you´ll have to come yourself. No free google tourism.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Technology is assimilating disparate analog data at an astounding rate. I hope I'm alive when this technology allows us to also enjoy a virtual travel experience to our past. Imagine traveling old Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles by virtual automobile. What did our cities, pastures and parries look like from the drivers seat of a 1947 Ford convertible? The old photographs and movies are out there for someone to collect, organize, digitize and render our past. The possibilities are endless!
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