Whether you're on the open road or just trying to make it to work in one piece, getting where you're going is hassle enough -- even when there isn't traffic to be stuck in. Garmin's latest iterations of its Drive GPS navigation systems will soon be receiving a host of features that will deliver live updates and easier-to-follow directions in hopes of changing driver behaviors for the safer.
The Drive will now offer a number of driver alerts such as warnings for sharp curves, train crossings and red-light cameras. It also adds Garmin's Real Directions feature, which offers contextual notes -- like passing landmarks or large buildings -- to simplify navigation. Live Track is another feature that will enable drivers to share their vehicle's location with friends and family.
Plus, if you pair the Drive to your smartphone via Bluetooth, the nav systems will provide live traffic and parking conditions to and around your destination. And Garmin is also releasing a Watch Link app that will guide drivers to their parked cars via a connected wearable. Finally, no more level-by-level parking garage searches.
The Drive Smart offers all of those features but can also connect to your home WiFi network to quickly download new maps and software updates. It also handles calls and texts through the nav screen for hands-free functionality while your phone is linked via Bluetooth.
Building on that, the Drive Assist adds a dash cam that records to an included microSD card. That camera doesn't just record traffic; it also incorporates forward-collision and lane-departure warnings. The top-of-the-line Drive Lux does all that (sans the dash cam) but in a more stylish metal housing. The Drive navigation systems will retail from $150 to $330 (or £120 to £330 in the UK) when they go on sale in February.
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