Smartphones have revolutionized our lives, including how we find our way with driving, but they cannot compete with what embedded navigation systems offer.
The ability to utilize sensor data and having direct access to electronics in our cars are things that will always make dedicated navigation software and infotainment systems much more than just a solution for getting from A to B.
Embedded navigation has become relevant again because the fast-rising number of connected systems in a car opens up lots of new use cases for infotainment, advanced driver assistance and guidance visualization.
With an ever-increasing array of connected safety systems, the data and functionality of these units can be shared or integrated with infotainment systems to provide enhanced safety features as well as an exceptional user experiences.
Another benefit of embedded systems is that they are designed for the vehicle. They are stress tested to meet stringent environmental and safety requirements. An embedded navigation system won't shut down because the windshield becomes too hot.
Offline maps, services
The maps used in phone apps are only useful when there is an internet connection. Downloading a version for use offline might be possible with some apps (although not always for free). Meanwhile, embedded navigation systems are available to drivers whether they are online or offline.
The maps are designed specifically for a navigation software, prepared by content creators, and revised by companies that only work on putting together detailed maps.
The large screen in an embedded system is integrated into the head unit, making it easy to access and use.
The controls from the built-in head unit are also installed on the steering wheel, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, thus making driving a lot safer. On the other hand, smartphones are external objects that must be applied to the windshield or the dashboard.
Navigation software is now, more than ever, an essential part of modern vehicles. From the guidance and positioning capabilities need to combat range anxiety to the growing number of available connected services improving user experience.
For example, if you are driving an EV and plan to go on a long trip, then powertrain and usage data allows embedded navigation systems to: calculate energy consumption in real-time; plan routes that include efficient charging; and simplify the user experience of EV journey planning.
In premium offerings, with deeper integration, this software can also take your driving style, HVAC usage, and other driver-specific factors into account, providing a more accurate calculation or range.