In what seems to be a “why didn’t they think of that sooner?” moment, Telenav, one of largest map data providers in the world has partnered with Red Bend to demonstrate a GPS navigation system that can receive map updates and points-of-interest database updates through the use of a companion iPhone app to the vehicle’s navigation system.


In-dash navigation systems have always been challenging to update.

Shown currently as a proof-of-concept to attendees to the 2014 International CES, Telenav demonstrated a system that allows for the database in the vehicle to be updated with the latest map data. Because many phones utilize a high-speed data connection, updates can happen rather quickly, and not require expensive phone hardware built into the vehicle.

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There are clearly a number of hurdles that need to be jumped in order to make this work effectively. Currently, built-in GPS map data requires several gigabyte files in order to update. For those on a limited data connection, that can be difficult (or expensive). Also, it would require a special app and knowledge of how to use it to work. Many people who read Motor Review are capable of the task, but everyday consumers may find it frustrating. Frustration with navigation systems and accuracy is the main reason why Telenav wants to offer this system.


We are surprised that maps do not automatically update through the cloud now, because many vehicles have a data connection to the cloud, but we are more surprised that companies aren’t focusing more on real-time maps the way Apple and Google Maps currently map routes. With mobile-based apps and features like iOS in the Car on the way, will standard navigation systems in vehicles even be relevant in a few years?