Garmin Australia has announced the new Garmin Drive product line – Garmin Drive, Garmin DriveSmart, Garmin DriveAssist and Garmin DriveLuxe – easy-to-use portable navigation devices (PNDs) specifically designed to help increase driver awareness. The addition of smart notifications, which display calls, text messages and app notifications on the navigation screen, as well as voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling, allows drivers to keep both hands safely on the wheel.
Using a cell phone whilst driving is highly distracting and increases your risk of a crash four-fold.
Crash data from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport shows that between 2012 and 2014, 168 drivers in fatal or injury crashes contributed to the crash by being distracted by a cell phone, yet a 2014 study showed that one in every 40 drivers are still using a cell phone while driving, showing the problem is still prevalent.
“We all know that using your cell phone in your car is extremely unsafe, yet many drivers continue to use their phones while driving,” said Adam Howarth, Garmin Australasia’s recently appointed General Manager.
“With the new DriveSmart, DriveAssist and DriveLuxe PNDs, drivers can now view calls, text messages and app notifications on the navigation screen, encouraging drivers to keep their hands off their phones and safely on the wheel.
“Across the entire Garmin Drive lineup, driver awareness features that are typically only seen in luxury vehicles are now accessible as an aftermarket solution for all drivers. This includes warnings for upcoming sharp curves, railroad or animal crossings, alerts for users driving the wrong-way on a one-way street and more.”
Drivers also receive red light and speed camera alerts as well as vital timesaving traffic information with fast-approaching traffic jam notifications. For longer routes, a fatigue warning alert suggests potential break times and available rest areas or places to stop.
In addition to the new driver awareness features, Garmin Drive includes preloaded data from Foursquare POIs, adding millions of popular stores, restaurants and more. Various models offer options for lifetime maps and traffic updates. Other features designed to simplify navigation include Garmin Real Directions, which guides drivers using recognisable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights; and Easy Route Shaping that lets drivers modify a route to include preferred cities or roads by touching the navigation screen.
The Garmin DriveSmart boasts all of the features from Garmin Drive and adds customisable smart notifications that allow drivers to display calls, text messages and app notifications on the navigation screen. Voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling allow drivers to keep both hands safely on the wheel. Garmin DriveSmart can also access real-time services such as live traffic and weather radar through the Smartphone Link app.
Garmin DriveAssist builds on the Garmin DriveSmart and includes a built-in dash cam to serve as an eyewitness. The device continually records and automatically saves video footage on impact with the included microSD card. The integrated camera brings in more advanced driver awareness alerts, such as the Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warnings. Additionally, Garmin DriveAssist integrates the new “Go” Alert, a camera-assisted feature that notifies distracted drivers when traffic ahead of their vehicle begins to move. As drivers approach select destinations, Garmin Real Vision unveils a camera view on the screen of the device and an arrow points out the specific destination.
The Garmin DriveLuxe is an impressive premium navigator housed in a beautiful forged metal design. Powered with a sleek magnetic mount, the Garmin DriveLuxe delivers innovative navigation features and includes all the smart notification and real-time traffic services as the DriveSmart and DriveAssist models.
All Garmin Drive devices can be paired with the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera (sold separately) to easily see behind a vehicle when moving in reverse. Garmin Drive devices may also be paired with the new Garmin babyCam in-vehicle video monitor (sold separately, or bundled with Garmin Drive 50 LM) to view backseat passengers on the navigation screen.