For companies like TomTom
, it's a tough road ahead. Personal navigation devices have lost their luster as people move on to in-car systems and savvy smartphones, but the company is being quite smart about its future. Instead of banking on PND sales, TomTom has just landed a deal to provide the in-car navigation system for Fiat's automobiles. It technically extends an existing partnership between the two, but now -- for the first time -- TomTom navigation will be built-in as part of the Fiat Group's new Uconnect 5" Radio Nav infotainment system.
The new infotainment system will initially be available in Fiat 500L series models, and offers a 5" touch screen. Uconnect will feature many of the technologies found in TomTom's PNDs, including maps, IQ Routes, voice control and Advanced Lane Guidance. The device also incorporates the familiar TomTom user interface, and Microsoft supplied the Windows Embedded Automotive operating system.
We've seen some fairly poor automotive NAV systems, so we sure hope TomTom manages to notch similar deals with lots of other automakers.