“Turn right in 500 feet” is a very precise driving instruction, but most people have a hard time gauging the correct distance. Telling people to turn at a specific street when they are unfamiliar with the area also isn’t too helpful. NAVTEQ is working on making GPS navigation easier by mimicking the way humans naturally provide driving directions to each other. This means that future directions will include landmarks and easy to see locations so that directions will include such instructions as “turn left at the fountain”.
Research shows consumers desire more intuitive and practical directions because it is easier to follow and allows the user to keep their eyes on the road.
So far data has been prepared for the cities of Berlin, Chicago, Delhi, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York and Paris. Additional cities in North America, Europe, and Asia are planned for 2011. The data has yet to show up in any GPS navigation unit but NAVTEQ says it has commitments from unnamed GPS makers to use the data.
Press release: NAVTEQ First to Give Navigation a ‘Human Touch’ – NAVTEQ Natural Guidance™ enables navigation directions everyone can relate to
Making GPS Easier to Understand – NY Times