It's been a good four years since we reported anything on Route 66, but with a new collaboration with TomTom on the horizon, these bearers of PNDs have once again sparked our interest. At the heart of the partnership is a new Android app, appropriately titled Route 66 Maps + Navigation, that brings augmented reality to GPS navigation -- specifically, a feature called Follow Me that allows real drivers to follow virtual cars turn for turn. Follow Me uses your smartphone or tablet's camera to display real-time video of the road ahead, and places a virtual 3D car directly in front of you on your route -- the car's rear lights indicate when to turn right or left. Maps + Navigation also includes simultaneous voice directions in 57 languages, up-to-date TomTom maps of 100 countries with 3D graphics, and multitouch gesture control. You can get your hands on the app via Android Market soon, or check out the rather cheesy demo video after the jump.


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ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation launched by ROUTE 66 featuring TomTom Maps and Content

Android App offers Unique 'Follow Me' Augmented Reality Navigation

- Complete mapping and navigation app for Android, with over 100 TomTom maps

- Unique Follow Me™ augmented reality navigation to make navigation easier and more fun

- Special launch offer: 30 days free worldwide navigation license.

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, 14 February 2011 - ROUTE 66, a pioneer in mobile mapping and navigation solutions for smartphones and tablets, today announces the launch of ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation, a new app for Android leveraging TomTom's highly accurate maps and enhanced location content. ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation is the first application coming to market that is based on the global agreement between ROUTE 66 and TomTom announced at the end of 2010.

Premium Navigation with Free Map Browsing

This new ROUTE 66 app is a feature-packed mapping and navigation solution for drivers and pedestrians around the globe. The app provides access to the latest crystal-clear maps for over 100 countries, with stunning 3D graphics, packed with handy links to useful information like the weather and Wikipedia. Users can explore maps in any direction with multi-touch gestures for zooming, moving, tilting and rotating the view, even during navigation. ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation provides navigation with clear spoken directions in 57 languages, optional Real Time Traffic and Speed Camera services and a number of unique extras, including the spectacular Follow Me augmented reality feature. Maps are free to download and also included is a 30 days free worldwide navigation license.

Follow Me™ Augmented Reality

In addition to a full range of premium navigation features, ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation now has Follow Me. Follow Me shows video of the street in front of you using the camera of the phone or tablet and adds a virtual 3D car driving in front of you. Indicator lights flash to tell you where to turn left or right. This is augmented reality navigation at its best: your own Follow Me car on top of a live camera image, combined with crisp, clear, spoken directions which make finding your way more intuitive and more fun than ever before.

Map storage taken to a new level

With ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation users can access map data in various ways. The app automatically downloads the map data needed from high-speed servers to phone or tablet as you go, providing access to the very latest and most accurate maps whenever is needed. Users can also store complete maps on their smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi before they go on the road, avoiding data roaming charges while abroad and ensuring instant access with guaranteed performance, whatever the local network reception.

TomTom Maps and Location Content

ROUTE 66 selected TomTom as the provider of map data for ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation to ensure its users the best possible mapping and navigation experience available. For this brand new app, ROUTE 66 is using TomTom maps, and a wide range of location content such as 3D City Maps, 3D Landmarks and Premium POIs.

"We are extremely pleased to provide a critical component in this compelling new ROUTE 66 application," said Maarten van Gool, Managing Director, TomTom Licensing. "Our maps rate very highly in terms of quality and reliability, and are updated daily via millions of GPS system users worldwide, who help to track and validate changes in real time."

"ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation provides the future of navigation, today," said Paul Warmer, ROUTE 66 Vice President Marketing. "And it's also great fun to use. Everyone who tested our new product, became hooked on the unique Follow Me feature, which we believe is a major step forward in making navigation more intuitive and a lot more fun."

Availability and pricing

ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation is available soon via Android Market. ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation offers lifetime free access to maps. Turn-by-turn navigation is a premium feature, which can be purchased via the in-app store. Navigation licenses are available for 30 days, one year and lifetime. See the License menu for the in-app store for actual end-user prices. ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation comes with a 30 days free worldwide navigation license. The app is compatible with Android 2.1 and later.

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