There are plenty of choices to meet your mobile mapping needs, from feature-rich offerings from big names like Google, Apple and Nokia to crowd-sourced services like Waze. Telenav's Scout app falls somewhere in between, and today the company announced that it'll get both 3D buildings and landmarks and crowd-sourced traffic reporting (backed by TomTom's database) later this year. Graphically, Scout in 3D looks similar to Google Maps and will initially be available for major metro areas in the US.
As for traffic reporting, Telenav will be asking its 34 million subscribers to report accidents and traffic jams, and will update its database in real-time. That means that as road conditions change, Scout'll suggest faster alternate route options to get you from point A to point B hassle-free. No word exactly when these new capabilities will make it to users, but when they do arrive later this year, both premium and free users will get 'em. In the meantime, check out the video of the new 3D maps in action after the break.
Scout for Phones to Feature 3D Buildings and Crowd-Sourced Traffic Incident Reporting
Updates will be added to free, personalized GPS navigation app later this year
Sunnyvale, Calif. - April 15, 2013 - Telenav®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNAV), the leader in personalized navigation, announced today that it will add major updates to its free Scout for Phones personalized GPS navigation apps by end of year, including 3D buildings and landmarks along with several significant improvements to its traffic content and user interface. New features will be available in Scout for iPhone and Scout for Android.
3D Buildings and Landmarks
Developed using screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), a rendering technique that is used primarily in the gaming industry to create high frame rate 3D realistic graphics, Scout will add 3D buildings and landmarks in many major metropolitan cities across the U.S. As drivers near upcoming turns, Scout will dynamically change navigation views to show relevant nearby buildings and landmarks to give drivers a better feel for their surroundings and assist with upcoming maneuvers. The new 3D data will be optimized and locally cached so that they are automatically downloaded with each route and condensed to very small file sizes.
"Our primary goal in adding 3D integration into Scout for Phones is to help drivers navigate unfamiliar areas," said Ryan Peterson, director of product management, traffic and navigation at Telenav. "With that goal in mind, we are focusing on ease of use, realistic but subtle graphics, and intuitive views. It's about providing drivers with additional context on the road so they can better navigate their surroundings with just a quick glance."
Major Traffic Improvements and Updates
Telenav will also incorporate major updates to traffic information and capabilities to Scout for Phones later this year. For example, users will have the ability to easily report incident information as they witness it. Drivers will be able to report situations such as accidents, road hazards, traffic jams and police presence with just a couple of taps on the phone. Scout will then automatically integrate the crowd-sourced information into its traffic and congestion database so other Scout users in that area will be prompted to avoid these lengthy delays or other traffic incidents.
Beyond integrating more crowd-sourced information from its Scout users, Telenav will also expand its overall traffic coverage by five times through the addition of traffic and congestion information for arterial roadways, providing Scout drivers with more comprehensive traffic information for their daily routes.
Scout for Phones' user interface will also improve in updating drivers on upcoming traffic and alternate routes. While en route, Scout will provide more information on alternate routes based on traffic without drivers having to touch the phone or change to another screen. As they become available, Scout will proactively display faster alternate route options at the bottom of the navigation screen and a driver can choose to ignore or select the new route.
Scout will also update mid-route so drivers will be able to see traffic flow information for longer portions of their trip. For example, drivers may be able to see if traffic is at a red, yellow or green status for up to 15 miles ahead without changing screens. In addition, Telenav will transition Scout for iPhone to include a vector-based traffic display so that the images and navigation are displayed quicker, sharper and more fluid to optimize the user experience for drivers on the road.
"With more than 50 percent of American workers spending at least 20 minutes getting to work each day*, traffic is a daily grind for a lot of people," said Peterson. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our traffic data and how it's shared in the app. We hope to help alleviate some of the stress of daily traffic for our customers by implementing these updates this year."
3D building and landmark integration and updates to traffic features will be added to the free and premium versions of Scout for Phones by the end of the year.
A video demonstration of Scout's 3D building and landmark integration can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gqX3q_Zfc&feature=youtu.be
High-resolution screen shots of Scout's upcoming traffic updates can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23382466@N03/sets/72157633237460556/
Scout for Phones is free. Scout for iPhone can be downloaded in the App Store and Scout for Android is available in Google Play.
*US Census Bureau report: Out of state and long commutes 2011
About Telenav, Inc.
Telenav's mission is to help make people's lives less stressful, more productive, and more fun when they are on the go. Our personalized navigation services help people make faster and smarter daily decisions about where to go, when to leave, how to get there, and what to do when they arrive.
We aim to be everywhere people need us. Our partners are wireless carriers, automobile manufacturers, app developers, advertisers and advertising agencies. Our carrier and automotive partners include AT&T, Bell Mobility, Boost Mobile, Ford, NII Holdings, QNX Software Systems, Rogers, Sony, Sprint Nextel, Telcel, T-Mobile U.S., U.S. Cellular, Vivo Brazil and YP. You can also find us in mobile app stores and on the web at www.telenav.com and www.scout.me.
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/scout or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scoutbytelenav.