Garmin’s latest in-car satnav units use iPhone connectivity for live traffic, parking & tracking

Garmin has announced new versions of its Garmin Drive range of in-car satellite navigation devices, using Bluetooth connectivity to an iPhone or Android phone to provide additional functionality. Most are available in a choice of 5- and 6.95-inch models, somewhat confusingly indicated by 51 and 61 suffixes.

The entry-level Garmin Drive 51/61 adds free real-time services, such as live traffic, for select models when wirelessly paired with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. After pairing to a smartphone, drivers can also enjoy live parking information from Parkopedia, the world’s leading parking service provider. Parkopedia conveniently provides pricing and availability trends for on-street public parking as drivers approach a destination. Other real-time services such as LiveTrack allow drivers to share their location with friends – a useful feature to track family members or loved ones during a road trip.

Three additional models add further functionality and design features …

The DriveSmart 51/61 adds WiFi for wireless map and software updates, while the DriveAssist 51 adds a built-in dashcam which provides driver alerts as well as recording.

The integrated camera enhances advanced driver awareness alerts such as Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warnings. To take some of the guesswork out of navigating to new address locations, Garmin Real Vision shows a live camera view on the display with an arrow pointing out the specific destination. The “Go” Alert notifies distracted drivers when standstill traffic ahead of their vehicle begins to move.

It can also send an automatic text message to a family member or friend if it detects an accident, including your location in the message. And for road trips, the dashcam can automatically create a timelapse video of your drive when used with the Garmin Virb app.

Finally, the DriveLuxe 51 is a DriveSmart model with a metal casing rather than a plastic one, a magnetic mounting making it easier to attach and remove.

Garmin says that the new products will be available next month.

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