Issue: Dec 2002

Affordable Guidance

JCIs Point of Interest Compass directs for a lot less.

by Andrea Wielgat

The Point of Interest Compass can be displayed on a simple overhead console screen like the one above
Its a common dilemma - finding an address in the dark while driving. Squinting and slowing down help but in the end most people usually end up passing their destination only to double-back to find it.
Navigation systems help but most are too expensive for the average driver of a mainstream car or truck.
Thats who Johnson Controls is targeting with its Point of Interest Compass concept. Basically a mini-navigation system, the compass uses an overhead display to let drivers know where they are and whats coming up down the road.
Its a low cost navigation system, says Alan Hughes, engineering manager, advanced electronics interiors for JCI. We want to have a navigation system on a (main stream sedan).
It works with a driver downloading information about the area where they are traveling onto a multi-media card which is the inserted into the system. GPS tracks the vehicles location while the system uses a database to identify area information. The overhead console then displays a variety of information including nearby addresses, cross streets and upcoming restaurants, gas stations and hotels.
While a navigation system would cost about $2,000, the Point of Interest Compass will cost about $500 depending on options, Hughes says.

JCI has not signed a contract on the system. While it acknowledges there is some after market potential for the system, Hughes says, we want an OEM.

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