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With an increasing number of new cell phones offering free, integrated turn-by-turn navigation, the days of the standalone navigation device must surely be numbered. Of course, those dedicated navigators still offer some features you can't (yet) get elsewhere, such as the Darth Vader or Dennis Hopper voices for TomTom and downloadable vehicles for the Garmin Nuvi.

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Google maps turn by turn navigation – Click above for high-res image gallery

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A recent survey conducted by research firm NuStats and funded by GPS-maker NAVTEQ found that drivers equipped with in-car navigation units use 12% less fuel than their non-guided counterparts. The study focused on three groups of drivers in Germany. The first used no GPS at all, the second had a basic GPS and the third had a GPS unit that included traffic information. None of the participants had previously owned navigation units.

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A recent survey conducted by research firm NuStats and funded by GPS-maker NAVTEQ has found that drivers equipped with in-car navigation units use 12 percent less fuel than their non-guided counterparts. The study focused on three groups of drivers in Germany. The first used no GPS at all, the second had a basic GPS and the third had a GPS unit that included traffic information. None of the participants had previously owned navigation units.

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In the near future, Ford vehicles may fire back a retort if you get cheesed off enough to yell at the car. According to the details of a patent filing, Ford is working on an Emotive Advisory System (EAS) that simulates emotions when interacting with occupants, and may also use an avatar to express itself.

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While Ford's giving the Fusion an LCD large enough to watch feature films, Magna has joined up with Swiss firm u-blox and Germany's Paragon to develop a navigation system that puts the map display in your rearview mirror. The system is called MirrorPilot, and it does look like a slick way to add factory navigation with a minimum of effort on the automaker's part. It's also far nicer than suction-cupping some aftermarket unit to the windshield and dealing with its tangle of cables. It's not just

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Honda's launching the next step in navigation system evolution that will automatically warn drivers to be on guard when traveling through areas of high crime. The system is launching in Japan on Tuesday, but we haven't heard of any plans to bring it to the United States. It's probably for the best, as there'd be wide swaths of the country that this navi would recommend you avoid. Places like Washington DC, where crime is apparently legal and perpetrated by criminals with offices and staffs. Detr

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The latest gizmo from Japan's Takata will tell you where to go, but not like those verbally abusive digital keychains from the '90s. The Takata CSW steering wheel is designed to interface with sensors in your vehicle and display different messages on an LCD screen in the 12 o'clock position. There are already lights and sirens to let you know if your door is ajar or the washer fluid is low, but the CSW wheel's best trick is that it will talk to the Navigon 7100 navigation system, should you have

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Hyundai has quickly developed a full range of products in its US lineup, and quality scores from companies like JD Power show those vehicles now rank among the best in the industry. For all of Hyundai's progress the past few years, the South Korean automaker has taken its time getting navigation systems into its fleet of cars and trucks.

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Technology is wonderful. Technology is also made or, in this case, programmed by people.

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