Yeah, we love GPS around here as much as the next guy, but it really doesn't impress our lady friends too much when our mellifluous prose gets interrupted by Cro Magnon-like gestures while we have to ask for directions on our nav units. We'd much prefer to use a phrase like "Find me a hotel in Paris in the seizième arrondissement, play Serge Gainsbourg's 'Je t'aime' and adjust for mood lighting -- s'il te plaît" and have our ride respond instantly. Well, save for that last request, apparently plain English queries (or 13 other languges) to a GPS stystem are now possible thanks to software by IBM built onto Pioneer's new AVIC-HD1BT nav unit. It's loaded up with a 30GB hard drive (20GB for maps and the rest for music), a DVD player and an iPod connection of some sort. Although Pioneer claims that the AVIC-HD1BT is for the European-only non-"luxury car market" driver (sorry, us Lexus-driving Yankees will have to suffer), it still doesn't come cheap: €2,500 ($3,145).

[Via IDG News Service]

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Pioneer AVIC-HD1BT brings plain speech voice-activated GPS units