My main reason for visiting the Sydney Motor Show back in October was to get as much information as
possible on electric cars – and in particular, the Chevy Volt (see report in
SILICON CHIP, December ’08)
Apart from that, I found the show somewhat disappointing with
quite a number of manufacturers choosing not to show (no pun intended!)
Sure, it was all glitz and glamour, lots of bright lights and
agonisingly sparkling paintwork – but not much in the way of substance,
especially for us and, therefore, readers of a technical electronics
So I started to look for other items of interest. Apart from a
long, envious drool at the masterpiece of auto engineering that Enzo Ferrari
kindly named after me (Testarossa, of course!) and staring gobsmacked at a
magnificently restored Ford GT with an estimated auction price approaching
$300,000 (you could buy them for less than $20,000 brand new!) there really
wasn’t much to hold my interest, at least.
As I was about to leave, I took another look through the press
kit which organisers gave to members of the media. It was mostly one PR blurb
after another, until I got to the Navman folder.
"What's this? A brand new GPS unit?". My excitement lasted only
a few milliseconds when I realised that it wasn’t a "real" GPS but unfortunately
only a case (yes, a real GPS case!) with a weight inside it to simulate the
There was also an invitation to visit the Navman stand to see
what all the fuss was about with their new Platinum range. I’m not sure the PR
effort was all that successful, as mine was the first dummy GPS the people on
the stand had seen (and this was day 3!).
Anyway, the most helpful Navman salesman took me through the
features of this new model and that was enough to convince me that we should get
hold of one for review.
Why look at SatNav?
Let’s face it: SatNav (GPS) units are the proverbial "dime a
dozen". They’re long past being a toy for the idle rich; in fact, GPS units are
now inbuilt into many cars, ranging from the humble daily drive to some very
up-market (read expensive!) marques.