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Garmin/Navigon announce new pedestrian and public transportation features

Mel Martin

Garmin today announced updates for StreetPilot Onboard and NAVIGON smartphone navigation apps to provide better orientation in cities. With Urban Guidance, users are able to integrate public transportation into their route, complete with detailed itineraries of transit stops.

The new Last Mile function automatically saves the location of the user's car when continuing by foot, making it easy to find it on the way back. To better depict the user's surroundings, the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard app for iPhone now includes new graphical features such as Google Street View and Panorama View 3D.

Gallery: Garmin-Navigon new features | 5 Photos

"Taking into account the specific needs of city navigation, our upcoming app updates streamline directions for driving, walking and public transportation," said Joern Watzke, vice president mobile phone business at Garmin Wuerzburg GmbH. "Users can now get directions for different forms of locomotion, all integrated in one app right on their smartphone."

Urban Guidance considers public transportation options, such as trains, trams, busses and water taxis, when calculating pedestrian routes. Users will be guided to a transit stop by foot and offered detailed information on what line to take and where to get off.

The new Last Mile feature provides users a streamlined navigation experience when continuing by foot after parking the car. When approaching a destination, users will be informed about local parking garages. Once the car is parked, the app will automatically save its position and switch into pedestrian mode to provide walking directions. Since the car's position is saved, the app can easily provide directions back to it at any time. Last Mile Navigation is already available for the NAVIGON Android app but will be new to the NAVIGON iPhone app with the upcoming update. The Last Mile feature will not be available for the Garmin StreetPilot iPhone app at this point.

I think the activity in iOS nav apps is being pushed because Apple is delivering a built-in navigation solution in iOS 6, and these new features from Garmin/Navigon address some weaknesses in the Apple Maps app, such as no pedestrian or mass transit information. Of course the Apple app could add features before its released.

The updates will be available this fall, with no specific dates being offered. Check the gallery for some screen shots of both the Garmin and Navigon updates.

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