Car Tech A to Z: N is for navigation
The letter N in our A to Z of car tech series explains the history of navigation
The technology contained within the modern motor car can be both fascinating and slightly baffling. Most such technology exists to make our cars safer, more efficient and just better than ever to drive but some of it can be quite confusing for the average motorist. In this A to Z series we will attempt to unravel the mystery of technology that is the modern motor car. This week, we’re visiting the letter N…
N is for…navigation. Sat navs have become an essential part of our motoring lives, the concept of using satellites to distinguish exactly where we are on the earth having been invented by the US military in the 1960s.
The first sat nav system was called Transit and was fairly rudimentary in its method, and not entirely accurate at all times either.
Modern systems now have many more satellites to latch on to, and all of these use an atomic clock to maintain perfect synchronisation with all the other satellites in the sky.
Modern systems can combine satellite navigation with infotainment and in-car connectivity all as one single smart package.
The car mapping for this type of system is based on real time traffic flow so it can also, via a smartphone app, take you from wherever you are on earth straight to your car, and it will even find you a parking space once you’ve reached your destination.
Via a route planner app, the system will also find you places of interest and navigate you straight to them, switching between the in-car navigation and the nav on your phone automatically, so that even once you’re on foot it will continue to guide you.
360 degree panoramic street view can also be incorporated - as per Google Earth - to help you work out where you are should, somehow, you get lost or disorientated.
And if you’re running late for whatever reason, some systems will text your friends or colleagues automatically to let them know you’re on your way but might be a little while yet.
It’s all a bit different from fighting to unfold a map and then trying read it while driving, that’s for sure.
Next, the letter O…
- 1IntroductionThe ultimate A to Z guide to the latest car technology, helping car buyers bust through the jargon and understand the benefits
- 2A is for adaptive cruise control, ABS, airbags and more...The letter A in our A to Z of Car Tech explains adaptive cruise control, ABS brakes, Adaptive Terrain response and auto dimming mirrors
- 3B is for Blind Spot Monitoring, brakes and moreThe letter B in our A to Z of car tech series...
- 4C is for chassis, connectivity and moreThe letter C in our A to Z of car tech explains chassis tech, connectivity, cruise control and carbon fibre
- 5D is for diesel, dampers and moreThe letter D in our A to Z of car tech explains diesel, dampers, dynamic drive and designers
- 6E is for electric vehicles, engines and moreThe letter E in our A to Z of car tech explains electric vehicles, economy modes, engines and exhausts...
- 7F is for fly-by-wire, four-wheel drive and moreThe letter F in our A to Z of car tech series is for four-wheel drive, fly-by-wire and future technology.
- 8G is for gearbox, and moreThe letter G in our A to Z of car tech examines how gearboxes work
- 9H is for headlights, head up display and moreThe letter H in our A to Z of car tech series explains headlights, head up displays and hill descent control
- 10I is for Inconel and in-car protectionThe letter I in our A to Z of car tech explains the nickel-chromium alloy Inconel, plus in-car protection in the form of airbags