The single biggest frustration users have with GPS devices is still map quality. While many GPS manufacturers have introduced programs to try and help, NAVIGON is the first major North American GPS manufacturer to offer a map subscription model. While many consumers, especially in North America, don’t like subscriptions, this could be a winner. NAVIGON’s program is called NAVIGON FreshMaps, and here is how it will work.
From a typical GPS company new maps are offered about once per year. Those maps typically cost between $75 and $125 to purchase depending on the company. Much like they did with their Lifetime Traffic service, NAVIGON is looking to buck the trend and offer users up to 12 map updates over a three year period for $79. That is an amazing deal.
This service will be compatible with the 7100, 5100, and 2100/2120 NAVIGON devices. You purchase the subscription, and for three years you can download up to 12 map updates. (Basically one every quarter, syncing up with the NAVTEQ release cycle.)
“Industry figures suggest the road network changes 15 to 20 percent annually. POI data is even more turbulent. FreshMaps is designed to provide users peace of mind by giving them regular access to quality map and POI updates,” said Andreas Hecht, NAVIGON’s President for the Americas. “FreshMap updates are field-verified, road-tested, and quality-controlled at the source. NAVIGON’s solution is to provide our customers what they want: regular, quality map updates that are easy to access.”
What is our take on this? Three years is about how long many people might keep their GPS before moving on to a different model. With map updates from anyone else costing the same more for a single map update, you would be crazy not to purchase this for your NAVIGON.
In The NAVIGON press release about FreshMaps, they took a little dig at the current map update process offered by companies like Garmin as well as a no so subtle dig at TomTom’s innovative MapShare program.
Where some GPS device makers sell ad hoc single map updates and others offer more frequent—but unverified—maps that are updated by user communities, NAVIGON’s FreshMaps uses trusted, field-verified, and quality-controlled map and POI updates.
I think there is still a huge need for a system like MapShare, but NAVIGON Fresh Maps seems like a no-brainer for NAVIGON owners.
NAVIGON FreshMaps should be available for purchase in April.