3D navigation in the works

Volkswagen’s U.S. division, Internet search engine Google, and graphics chipmaker nVidia are joining forces to develop the next generation of in-vehicle navigation system – one that can display information in three dimensions

Volkswagen’s U.S. division, Internet search engine Google, and graphics chipmaker nVidia are joining forces to develop the next generation of in-vehicle navigation system – one that can display information in three dimensions.

Volkswagen, working through its Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL), in Palo Alto, CA, together with Google and nVidia, displayed a 3D navigation prototype at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, the company said.

The system uses a touch screen that displays 3D maps. Real-time traffic updates and routing information comes from Google Earth, including current information on restaurants, dealerships, gas stations and other points from its web-based “dynamic” database. That information is then overlaid directly onto a 3D map generated by nVidia’s technology, Volkswagen said.

Volkswagen added that photo-realistic, high-resolution 3D images are not only more engaging for the user, but they are also more efficient and accurate at conveying information than traditional 2D maps – allowing drivers to more instinctively recognize where they are in relation to surrounding topography, especially in urban areas, as they are depicted with depth and accurate size relationships between buildings and roads.

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