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m.logistics Magazine | On Track & On Target | Garmin goes Android for latest truck satnav

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30 December 2014

Garmin goes Android for latest truck satnav


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In an intriguing development by satellite navigation specialist Garmin, the company has announced its first truck and van satnav devices to run the Android operating system.

Dedicated satnav hardware tends to run a variety of mobile operating systems, which are often hidden behind a proprietary satnav-style front end. Some makers for instance have used versions of Microsoft’s CE operating system, and historically Garmin has been a heavy user of the open-source Linux operating system.

Its new Fleet 660 (for smaller vans) and 670 (for trucks), which are known by the company as “navigators”, again have a Garmin-style interface, but the company argues that their Android operating system opens up new opportunities for them to double as conventional in-cab or mobile terminals. The company says the interface is fully customisable, and new applications and widgets can be added.

In the words of Clive Taylor, director for fleet management and commercial business: “These new devices will wonderfully address some simple needs of fleets, such as signature capture for proof of delivery, and be able to solve many business issues we haven’t even yet thought of.” 

The new hardware is optimised for in-cab use with a rugged dustproof design, high-sensitivity GPS, extra-loud speaker and a sunlight-readable, 6in capacitive touch screen. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allow wireless connection to a “black box” data transponder or other sensors and peripherals, such as a wireless printer or camera.

Satnav-wise, the new devices appear to offer the latest features of Garmin’s existing range, including routing based on individual truck attributes, trucking points of interest, and real-world road signs.

 

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