Honda Unveils "InterNavi Premium Club", a New Voice Controlled Information System
Tokyo, August 29, 2002 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced that, by integrating its new voice-operated car navigation service with mobile telephone technology, it has succeeded in creating a new two-way information network, service providing customers with a level of information that only an automaker could offer. Known as InterNavi Premium Club, this service will be launched with the new Accord, which goes on sale in fall 2002. It will be offered free of charge for three years, from the date of the car's initial registration until the first mandatory vehicle inspection.
The platform for this new service is comprised of Honda's newly developed voice-operated onboard car navigation system, combined with InterNavi*1, Honda's information network system for drivers, launched in 1998. Integrating onboard car navigation functions with PC and mobile-phone access, plus an information center, InterNavi Premium Club delivers a full menu of services designed to make life easier for drivers. This menu features an on-demand Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS*2), with nationwide road traffic report coverage, along with a wide range of maintenance and driving information.
The newly developed Honda onboard navigation system makes extensive use of voice-operated commands and system help, enabling the driver to access information without taking his or her eyes off the road. The system also enables the driver to operate the air-conditioning and the audio system using voice commands, to dictate notes, and to have hands-free conversations on the mobile phone. The wide range of safety features includes an erratic driving detection system and a driver assist system complete with curve sensing functions. Since the system is compatible with most popular mobile phone handset models, the user does not have to invest in a special connection device, which helps keep costs down. Thanks to its built-in modem and data terminal functions, the onboard system also acts as a high-performance information platform.
Honda envisages that by 2004, the new onboard navigation system required in order to use InterNavi Premium Club will be supported on most of its models, mini-cars excepted, and that the system will be factory-installed on 30% of all models sold (again excepting mini-cars), making InterNavi Premium Club available to a large number of customers.
Outline of Principal Services Available from InterNavi Premium Club
(1) New road traffic information Unlike services using conventional VICS FM multiplex receivers and beacons, which have information access in a limited reception area, InterNavi is accessed via mobile phone networks. This means it is able to offer on-demand VICS for access to road-traffic reports covering the whole of Japan. Data on road obstructions and slowdowns is picked up as needed, delivering door-to-door route-planning guidance tailored to the driver's needs. Road traffic reports affecting all stages of the journey can be accessed from anywhere in Japan. Areas and points on which information is required can be pre-set as desired. The information update frequency can be specified, allowing the driver to keep track of changing situations.
(2) Maintenance information Based on the odometer reading, the system refers to the maintenance record or the onboard memory to find out when oil changes and other maintenance tasks are due. The InterNavi Information Center then sends a reminder via e-mail or via the driver's personal web page, helping the driver to keep the car in top condition.
(3) Car navigation information Voice commands can be used not only to set the destination, but also to locate nearby roadside services and other facilities, view various types of news reports, check e-mail messages, find out what the weather is like at the destination, and obtain a variety of other information as well.
Incoming information including images, location data, and/or telephone numbers can be displayed as the background image on the screen. This display data can also be used to set the destination or make a hands-free telephone call.
The contact numbers for emergency and roadside services can be pre-programmed so that the driver can make a hands-free phone call to summon help.
(4) Personal web page Each user is provided with a personal web page customized for access by PC or mobile phone. In addition to a photo of the driver's car and a display of the kilometers traveled, it contains driving help, maintenance reminders and a wide range of other information calculated to improve the quality of life behind the wheel. Being accessible on the Internet, the personal web page can be used from wherever the driver happens to be at the time.
(5) DVD map update When an InterNavi Premium Club member's car is taken in for its annual maintenance check, the DVD-ROM-based map can be exchanged for the latest version. This service will be available for the first three years, up until the first mandatory vehicle inspection.
*1 InterNavi is a registered trademark of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. *2 VICS is a registered trademark of the Vehicle Information and Communication System Center