Drivers wanting navigation systems have had to choose between expensive in-vehicle systems or stand-alone portable systems. Both require significant initial investment and rely on maps that can easily become obsolete, and reflect nothing of current conditions, such as traffic or construction. GM’s OnStar represents a third option, combining a voice connection to a call center-based “concierge” and a GPS-based in-vehicle component, but this also requires a significant up-front investment for the in-vehicle GPS and communication components. Leveraging their experience in cellular technology and the governmental mandates for GPS based E-911 capabilities, Motorola’s Viamoto transforms an inexpensive personal cellular telephone into a powerful navigation system complete with local information and personal assistance tools.
Initially launched as “Avis Assist,” Viamoto enables Avis renters to receive spoken turn-by-turn driving directions on a standard GPS enabled Motorola phone connected to the Nextel cellular network. ViaMoto is continuously updated with map data and is integrated with point-of-interest databases to provide users with the most accurate and up-to-date navigation services possible.
By leveraging existing cellular networks, Viamoto provides both the technology and commercial infrastructure for delivering navigation services on a pay-as-you-go basis, without the need for up-front investment. Because Viamoto is cellular based, it can use continuously updated map and location data to respond to requests for the closest ATM, gas station, or hotel. Using cellular connections to a central call center allows Motorola to offer customers the option of using the cell-phone keypad, a PC/Web connection, or a voice call for accessing Viamoto.
Viamoto provides consumers with a more accurate, more portable, more flexible, and less costly tool compared to existing navigation systems, which are permanently installed in the car. In addition, Viamoto® is not limited to only navigational use, as local information, traffic and construction updates, and entertainment and retail information can all be provided on the same device - your personal cellular phone. Viamoto is available to Nextel subscribers, as well as Avis renters. About to be announced as of the date of the 2004 Automotive News PACE Awards is a major partnership and adoption, which will provide the logical next step in the application of Viamoto.