By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Australians will be the first in the world to see Navman’s latest high-end GPS units, the S-Series Platinum. The four models in the range will be shown at the 2008 Sydney Motor Show, which opens tomorrow in Darling Harbour.

Navman’s latest high-end GPS units, the S-Series Platinum, are slim at 13.5 mm deep and are encased in a brushed metal body. They are also the first Navman units to use Navteq maps.

Navteq says its map of Australia provides over 1.1 million kilometres of roads covering 100 per cent of the population. The Navteq maps are updated regularly by a full-time team of geographic analysts, based in Australia. These analysts continually drive all over the roads and capture up to 260 attributes, including one-way streets, turn restrictions and physical barriers. They also note and verify new roads, housing developments, and points of interest.

New functionality on the Navman S-Series Platinum GPS units includes a scrollable “glide” touch screen and a new ‘intelligent’ way of searching.

“So we’ve simplified the interface — there are three key areas — ‘Go’ for regular navigation instructions like putting in an address; ‘Find’ to search for specific places, areas or businesses; and ‘Explore’ that enables you to search an area in greater detail, or pull up information about points of interest online using TrueLocal,” said Navman marketing director Wendy Hammond.

“All of the search functions are done using a ‘keyword’ search. We have tried to make sure all the relevant day-to-day features that users need are up front and not buried in layers of different menu screens.”

The Platinum range also includes 3D lane guidance with junction views appearing on the screen as motorists approach major turn-offs, exits or intersections.

Safety alerts warn drivers as they approach school zones; highlight certain areas where they need to be more careful (for instance when there are fixed speed and red light cameras) or when approaching railway crossings or known accident black spots.

There is a pedestrian mode to allow users to navigate on foot. And a petrol efficiency mode allows drivers to choose routes that avoid braking, unsealed roads and roundabouts and keeps speeds constant.

The recommended retail prices for each new Navman S-Series Platinum are S100 — $429; S150 — $499; S200 — $599; and S300t — $699.