By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Navteq is targeting stressed out Gen Y drivers with its new Natural Guidance technology, offering navigation instructions that are designed to be more intuitive and natural sounding.

“Navteq Natural Guidance provides the kind of directions we crave as humans,” said Kirk Mitchell, vice president of Navteq sales.  “It’s an example of how we’re working to establish products that more closely aligns the navigation experience to reality.”

Natural guidance is designed to offer directions “the way a human would – through the use of descriptive reference cues” such as 'turn right at the lights', or 'turn left at the yellow building'. According to Mitchell, “this technology is a first step toward more natural and ultimately more personalised experiences”.

The focus on casual instruction arose after a Galaxy Research study found that Gen Y drivers are more stressed while driving than any other generation. The Australian Driver Stress survey was conducted during July 2011 and gathered responses from 1,010 drivers aged between 18 and 64 who had all driven a car within the last 12 months.

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Leading researcher Mark McCrindle spoke about the poll, saying that younger drivers respond differently behind the wheel when compared to their older counterparts.

“Generation Y, with work, study and hectic social lives, is fast becoming over stimulated as it is the generation most bombarded by external influences,” said McCrindle.

“Growing up with the internet and social media as the norm, they are suffering information overload, which could be impacting their ability to take in information. If that is the case it could explain the higher stress they experience when behind the wheel.”

The Galaxy research found that 32 per cent of Gen Y drivers admitted to having a poor sense of direction, while 20 per cent said they would drive impulsively to avoid traffic, compared to 6 per cent of Baby Boomers.

Kirk Mitchell argued that, based on this research, navigation devices geared towards younger drivers could help to minimise issues on the road.

“The research reveals that arriving late, getting lost and driving on unfamiliar streets are the biggest causes of driver stress,” Mitchell said. “Navteq believes that these modern-day stress factors are all avoidable through the use of navigation, especially for the younger generation who are traditionally more tech-savvy.”