Map Pilot Option For Mercedes Is Versatile Yet Expensive

Emmanuel P March 4, 2011

At the Geneva Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has seen fit to introduce a premiere navigation system, combining easy updating and portabilty . Called the Map Pilot, the new system is the result of Mercedes’ promise of a user-friendly upgrade path for built-in navigation systems. In use, the system shows up in the central display panel and has the expected voice instruction over the speaker systems. Data for the system is contained in a compact, tethered navigation “brain,” which can be easily removed from its docking cradle to update map data or upload the latest applications and feature sets. The unit seamlessly connects to the vehicle’s onboard radio and fixed-screen electronics via a tailor-made cradle conveniently and discreetly housed in the car’s glove compartment. The direct link to the Mercedes-Benz SLK or C-Class base radio means that the latest traffic warnings and other updates can be incorporated automatically in the route planning system by means of the Traffic Message Channel (TMC), and the guidance system automatically adapts itself to the current traffic situation.

Says Michael Mauser, Co-President of HARMAN Automotive, “The system blends the flexibility of the latest generation of portable navigation devices with the convenience of in-dash display and accessible controls to produce a system that is both easy to use and easily upgraded in the field.”

Initially available for the SLK and C-Class, the system is a costly option at $50,000.

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