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Garmin Updates StreetPilot Car GPS Series

Personal GPS device maker Garmin today said they were expanding their high end StreetPilot car GPS series with news about the new 7200 and 7500 models. These two car friendly GPS units arepriced at $1,499 and $1,800 respectively and due out in December.   The StreetPilot 7200 and 7500, Garmin said, feature just an on/off button on the front, providing full frontal real estate to the 7” color LCD touch screen. Besides comingpre-loaded with street level North American or European maps, both units provide the ability for the driver to be notified of accidents, road construction and weather conditions through optionalantennas which, depending upon the model, get their data from one of several wireless sources.   One of these sources for North American users is XM Satellite Radio. Users of this option can,besides getting traffic and weather data via satellite, subscribe to XM’s monthly service for music and audio entertainment channels. The device can also support the playback of MP3 music filesand audiobooks when they are put onto a SD card and inserted into the StreetPilot’s memory card slot.   All music or speech files can be emitted over the vehicle’s existing speakers,through the StreetPilot’s built-in FM wireless transmitter or via the unit’s headphone jack. The entertainment audio is muted when voice based navigation instructions are given. The units can alsodisplay a video signal from an external analog source, such as a back-up camera. When an external video source is active, the user may revert to the map display by touching anywhere on the screen.  The StreetPilot 7500 also offers a dead-reckoning feature that allows drivers to continue receiving navigational cues when GPS signals are obscured – such as tunnels – through a built-in solidstate gyro and a connection to a vehicle’s odometer system.   “The 7000-series was designed for larger vehicles – such as RVs, conversion vans, semi-trucks, and buses – because of its seven-inchscreen, automotive and entertainment features, and portability,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president, marketing, in a statement. “When designing this new StreetPilot family, we consideredpossible events that could impede a driver’s progress and then created ways to avoid those delays. By seeing traffic and weather delays in advance, a driver can save time by following a route aroundthe delay.”

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