Honda Perks Up Navigation System With Weather Features

By: Ally Wahlberg

Honda has perked up its car navigation system, which provides the fastest route to a destination that avoids traffic jams with the addition of information about earthquakes and warnings of rainfall ahead on roads.

This special Honda service will be offered starting with the remodeled Fit subcompact which will be going on sale in Japan later this year. Unfortunately, there are no plans yet to offer the said service to Honda's overseas market according to executive Manabu Nishimae.

In an interview he told reporters, "We believe information services are an important part of a car's quality."

The service is free but drivers have to pay mobile phone bills for relaying data. For frequent users they may avail of data transmission cards for a set with a monthly fee of about $8. In Japan alone about 530,000 drivers use the current navigation service in Japan or about 40 percent of Honda owners.

How does the additional navigational feature works? Up-to-date, email warnings will be sent to a pre-assigned address when car with the system happens to be in the area of a strong earthquake. This special feature is very handy in quake-prone nations. In case heavy rain is forecasted on a planned route, icons of exclamation marks pop up on the monitor.

Honda, Japan's number 2 automaker and producer of high quality has also upgraded its map system with updates that only takes a few minutes to download since it is vital for disks with map data to be updated.

Tokyo-based Honda has also found a way to compress data so that portions of a map, such as new roads get relayed gradually. Honda added that with the new navigational system driving time is cut by 20 percent.

Honda is not the only automaker that offer navigation services as a matter of fact all of the world's major automakers offer this car service but of course with additional twist of their own such as giving directions to restaurants, automatically call ambulances in accidents by connecting to human operators and many more.

Honda's navigation system has a unique feature wherein it collects information from individual Honda cars on the road, its more like Honda cars are talking to each other. In the new earthquake notification service, the system will be able to show which roads have been shut down. This kind of information is so accurate that it could even tell drivers exactly which lane of the freeway is congested, that is according to General Manager Takeshi Imai. He also said, "Honda's telematics is already moving toward the next stage."

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