RealTime IT News

MapQuest Takes a Mobile Direction

Navigation systems firm TomTom will launch a route finder device for cars together with mapping Web site MapQuest, the companies announced.

MapQuest chose the Concord, Mass.-based hardware manufacturer because it offered "the latest technology and the best consumer experience in personal navigation devices," Austin Klahn, CTO for MapQuest, said in a statement.

"This move extends the company's maps and directions beyond the desktop and builds upon its presence in the location-based services arena," Klahn said.

MapQuest is owned by America Online, a unit of Time Warner .

The MapQuest Personal Navigation Device (PND) provides motorists with detailed roadmaps and voice-guided directions.

According to TomTom, the device combines the GPS technology with MapQuest's preloaded detailed maps. PND will also feature turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions in a compact device weighing 11 ounces.

Designed to be mounted on a car's dashboard or attached to the windshield, the MapQuest PND uses GPS technology to determine users' current locations, according to the companies.

Users input their destinations on a touch screen to obtain directions based on a variety of different routing options, such as "quickest," "shortest," or "avoiding toll roads," the companies added.

The MapQuest PND also includes an anti-glare, touch-sensitive LCD screen; an itinerary planner to allow multiple stops on a journey, including gas stations, parking garages, hotels and restaurants; and 1GB removable SD card with a map of the continental United States.

"This relationship is a wonderful endorsement of our leadership position in the industry," Jocelyn Vigreux, president of TomTom United States, said. "We believe both companies –- and consumers –- will benefit as TomTom expands its presence in the U.S. by bringing innovative personal navigation solutions to market."

The MapQuest PND will retail for $699, and will be available only through MapQuest.com beginning Oct. 3, according to the company.