Panasonic Debuts Strada GPS in U.S.

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Panasonic unveiled today a sleek new mobile navigation system for automobiles which is its first such offering in the United States. The Panasonic Strada CN-NVD905U, priced at around $1,800, should be available now.

The Panasonic Strada is a hybrid GPS/auto entertainment system with an integrated 30GB hard drive. It sports a seven-inch touch panel LCD and comes pre-loaded with NAVTEQ mapping data for the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, plus detailed maps of 86 U.S. cities. This is joined by 12 million points-of-interest, voice guidance in three languages and real-time traffic data via an optional Sirius Satellite Radio antenna and subscription.

On the entertainment side, the Panasonic Strada can play either Sirius or XM Satellite Radio music (with an optional tuner, antenna and subscription service). It offers iPod video support for rear seat and front passenger video playback (we assume it will also play iPod audio). There’s also a built-in DVD player with support for  DVD-videos and home recorded DVD-R/RW discs as well as audio CDs in MP3 or WMA formats.

Driving related features include Bluetooth integration with a cell phone for hands-free driving and optional connectivity to a Panasonic rear view camera.

"With its incredible performance, Strada is a best-seller in Japan, and we intend to really put it on the map and establish Panasonic as a leader in the U.S. mobile navigation market," said Rob Lopez, national marketing manager for Panasonic’s Mobile Electronics Division, in a statement.