Google GPS – Google Mobile
Update: – A little more information about this (other speculation) can be found on this post about Volkswagen Google GPS.
This week at CES google dropped some hints about future products. One of those demonstrations showed a VW with Google Earth running on the dashboard. The application followed you around wherever you were in the car, just like would with the Google Earth application. (Photo via engadget)
The implications of his are interesting. Google Earth has just about everything you need in a great GPS navigation system. Driving directions? check. Large POI database? check. 3D display? check.
So what is missing if you wanted to do this right now? Well for starters most cars do not have high speed access to the internet. While there are ways to get internet access in your car, most of those methods probably are not fast enough for the data transfer requirements of Google Earth. And the ways that you can get access that fast often require the vehicle to be stationary. But this limitation will be overcome with time.
So why not just store all of the geo data internally in the car? From what I’ve heard the data that makes up Google Earth takes 12 Terrabytes of disk space. Basically you would need to install two Xserve RAID servers in your vehicle to handle the capacity. Keeping them in a climate controlled environment as they enjoy and keeping them juiced with electricity would be issues. In addition I don’t think many people would pay the $26,000.00 price tag for two Xserves with fourteen 500 GB drives in each.
Nonetheless, the possibility of having an alternative stripped-down version of Google Earth as a GPS navigation system does sound quite nice and is certainly feasible.
And of course they also demonstrated Google Local Mobile. This is similar to other GPS navigation systems you can retrieve via mobile phone. This is now available for Blackberry users and offers an interface similar to Google Maps, but available in real time via mobile phone.