Sunday, July 11, 2010

Car navigation as implemented in 1966

I have just read a magazine of 1966. The article was titled: Navigation Guide driving with you in the car. They were talking about the DAIR system of General Motors, kind of an early predecessor of today's car navigation systems. DAIR stands for Driver Aid, Information and Routing. So pretty much for what we use modern navigation systems for also. What you have to understand is that in 1966 a computer with the power of a modern smart phone filled the basement of a larger house. So, there was no way, you could have enough computing power to route your car through traffic. DAIR basically offered a user interface for human controlled support through a "call center". But the idea was basically the same of what we try to achieve with the TomToms and Navigons of today. The price of DAIR was targeted on the same level as an air conditioning unit for your car. But don't forget that air conditioning was pretty expensive at that time ...

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