Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today that it has strengthened its partnership with BMW AG, by offering two new navigation devices to enhance the already successful line of BMW Portable Navigation Systems. These Garmin devices are known as the Portable Navigation System Plus and Portable Navigation System Pro, and are available now at BMW dealerships in North America, Europe and other selected regions of the world.
“These two premium lifestyle products provide an excellent choice to meet the high demands of BMW customers. The Portable Navigation System Pro appeals to mobile professionals as one of Garmin’s most feature-rich models to date, whilst the Portable Navigation System Plus offers flexibility as it’s available without preloaded mapping. This means the Portable Navigation System Plus can be sold worldwide, including into the fast-emerging Eastern European and Asian markets,” said Roger Jollis, Garmin’s Director of OEM and Mobile Marketing. “Our breadth of knowledge, gained over approximately 20 years in the GPS navigation market, is unrivalled, and working with BMW for the last five years has allowed both parties to share their respective expertise.”
Both navigation systems are available from all BMW dealerships across Europe, and the Portable Navigation System Plus is available at BMW dealerships in North America, Europe and other selected regions of the world. Customers with the Plus system can purchase separate SD cards to plug-in their choice of regional map data (for more information on the range of maps currently available, visit www.garmin.com/bmwplus.)
The devices can be fitted effortlessly with specially engineered mounts into the interior of the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series and BMW X3 models. The crash-tested safe mounting, fitted by BMW dealers, has hidden wiring and no suction cup to provide a neat, highly integrated experience. Once parked, the portable navigation system can still be taken from the car and used in pedestrian mode.
Each model is extremely intuitive to use with a high-resolution touch screen, as well as Bluetooth hands-free functionality with speaker and microphone, built-in MP3 player and a BMW vehicle graphic to represent the driver’s current position. In newer automobiles, BMW 1 Series and BMW 3 Series vehicles manufactured from September 2007 and later, the turn-by-turn navigation directions are relayed via the vehicle’s sound system. When navigating and listening to the automobile’s sound system simultaneously, the Garmin navigation system will momentarily mute all entertainment audio so that the driver can clearly hear the navigation commands.
Models with preloaded maps include the latest BMW dealer database, enabling customers to access contact details for all dealerships, the nearest displayed first, and navigate there via a touch button on Garmin’s “where to” menu page.
Further features include park position recall; the device automatically marks the position when removed from the mount as a point on the map to remember where the car is parked and guide the driver back on foot. Touching the vehicle icon brings up information on “where am I?” providing precise details of your location, key local services, emergency response contacts and directions to the nearest hospital, police or fuel station. The unit also offers Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling and multi-point route planning (up to 200 stops).
In addition to all the features on the Portable Navigation System Plus, Portable Navigation System Pro also has voice recognition technology and comes preloaded with maps covering 33 European countries. This intelligent device has full-menu voice activation, which means there’s no need to touch the screen when searching for and selecting destinations, answering Bluetooth hands-free phone calls or even playing music on the Garmin MP3 player. Even more, it responds to practical spoken shortcuts like “go home.”
In North America, the Portable Navigation System Plus includes Garmin’s FM traffic receiver with FM real-time traffic, and the Portable Navigation System Pro incorporates MSN Direct’s real-time traffic reports, gas prices, weather conditions, movie times, stock quotes, current events, and more.
The Portable Navigation System Plus and Portable Navigation System Pro fit current production models of the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series and BMW X3 model and are available immediately at BMW dealerships worldwide.
As well as providing Portable Navigation for BMW vehicles, Garmin also supplies a customized version of its popular z mo and StreetPilot products for BMW Motorbikes. Further details can be found at www.garmin.com/bmwzumo.