MagnaWorks(R), a business group of Magna International(R) Inc., has announced the availability to vehicle manufacturers of Navex(TM), which they bill as "the first true, turn-by-turn telematics navigation system."

Telematics systems differ from other navigation systems currently available because of their ability to provide true, turn-by-turn route guidance to drivers at less than $500 per vehicle by using a wireless network, according to Gary N. Benninger, vice president, MagnaWorks.

With the availability of the Navex telematics navigation system, vehicle manufacturers can offer their customers the safety and convenience of in-vehicle navigation at substantially reduced costs to drivers, according to Benninger.

How the System Works

Using the cellular network, drivers initiate voice communications with the telematics service provider's call center outlining their intended destination. From the call center, the drivers' current locations are confirmed using GPS satellite positioning.

After calculating the optimal routes, the call center transmits the routes back to the vehicles. The system then uses both verbal and visual prompts to provide turn-by-turn directions to guide the drivers to their selected destinations.

According to Benninger, telematics navigation hardware is less susceptible to obsolescence compared to conventional on-board navigation systems. "By using a central database at the call center rather than in each separate vehicle, we can continuously update, expand and otherwise upgrade the quality of route information provided to Navex users," Benninger said.