MapMyIndia, a Qualcomm Ventures, KPCB, Sherpalo, Nexus Venture Partners funded location based services and maps company has launched an internet connected in-dash GPS navigation and entertainment systems at Auto Expo 2012. While the company had earlier launched an Android based Tablet featuring its navigation software, the new launch is a complete car entertainment system sporting a large touch screen, DVD player, iPod connectivity, USB and SD card support, Aux-in and AV-in for connecting other audio and video sources, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, AV-in for reverse camera support, Steering Wheel Controls, AV-out to connect to rear-seat or roof-mounted monitors and a built in FM radio player. It can be installed in any car with a 2-DIN slot. The company says that it will price the systems competitively when they are introduced shortly, in the market.

Connectivity & Other Features

According to a statement from the company, the system which is based on Android includes internet-connectivity, access to Android Market for downloading apps, live tv, ability to track the live location of the vehicle along with Aura, the company’s full 3D, connected navigation software with house-level search and MapmyIndia Maps v7.0 which claims to offers detail covering 5,76,000 towns and villages at national level, 4000+ cities at street level, 36 cities with house-level details, 20 cities and 6.3 million points of interest. The Aura software offers full 3D landmarks, 3D buildings and 3D elevation across hills and mountains, besides house-level search, built-in city and travel guides, detailed trip computer and turn-by-turn voice instructions. The system also allows users to stream photographs of places and discover people and friends nearby, share their location and message other users, through an inbuilt app.

Optimized For Car Use?

While we have not been able to personally experience the product, the system does look promising. While high-end cars feature built-in navigation systems, others do not come with the offering. So it will certainly be of interest to a lot of car owners. However, we still don’t know if the user interface, navigation and controls have been optimized for in-car use. This is one reason why companies like Pioneer, which offer a wide range of in-car entertainment systems, offers a system – AppRadio, that allows users to connect their smartphones and make use of selected apps. Other in-car systems featuring Android include Hong Kong based company, Innotrends‘ Ca-Fi and Parrot’s Asteroid systems.