Noteworthy is the road that has been driven by car for the past 40 years.

GPS is one of the most useful things that have emerged from modern technology. It is now integrated in all mobile phones and standard equipment in many cars. At the beginning of the machines, the transition from point A to point B was somewhat complicated. The streets were still in their infancy, the streets were still decades away and everyone could get lost with small traffic signs and signs. It didn’t take long for cartographers to recognize the need for vehicle cards, and what started with folded cards in the glove compartment has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. But it all started with Iter Avto.

1930 Iter Avto

Designed and built in the 1930s, it looks more like a “map guide tool” because it didn’t deliver voice prompts and instructions, and of course didn’t use satellites.

1930 Iter Avto

The device is supplied with a set of paper cards. These were rolled from roll to roll through a sieve, and a cable connected to the tachometer controlled the speed of movement. The speed at which the screen moved was proportional to the speed of the car, so the right place was always shown. The big problem was that the moment you left your route, you had to load a new map and find out the exact location of your current location.

1981 Honda with electro gyro-cator navigation unit

The first real car navigation system was developed by Honda, Alpine and Stanley Electric almost forty years ago and was called Electro Gyro-Cator.

1981 Honda with Electro Gyro-Cator navigation unit

Introduced in Japan in 1981, this “inertial navigation system” used a small gaseous helium gyroscope and was more similar to the systems used by fighter pilots during the Cold War. Inertial navigation systems are based on a fairly simple principle: knowing where you started, knowing how far you’ve traveled, and knowing which direction you’re heading in shouldn’t be difficult to know where you are. Apply this concept continuously and you will get the basic navigation system up and running.

Translucent maps had to be manually positioned on the screen and moved to a 6-inch black and white screen that was used for lighting and location purposes. The unit was optional for the equivalent of around $ 2,750, or almost 25% of the price of the cars themselves.

Etak Navigator

The first step from paper cards to digital cards stored on portable media was in 1985 with a secondary market system called Etak. I read the map data stored on a tape recorder and each tape covered part of a city. Four tapes were required for surfing in Los Angeles. If you left the tapes in the car on a particularly hot day, you were unlucky enough to get to your next destination. Etak also relied on dead stones instead of GPS to find its way, and contained a monochrome screen that moved when the car was driving.

Etak Navigator

In terms of technology, the system was very advanced at the time and obviously quite expensive, but Etak was able to sell several thousand units in several years.

1987 Toyota CD-ROM navigation system

In 1987, Japan made two lesser known but important advances in navigation technology for the automotive world. Available only in Japan, the Toyota Crown Royal Saloon G was the first with a built-in CD-ROM map navigation system and the first with a color display.

1987 Toyota CD-ROM navigation system

1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo navigation system

In 1990 Mazda introduced the first GPS system to be used in automotive navigation. The Mazda navigation system was offered in high-end Eunos Cosmos vehicles and is only available in Japan that loves gadgets. For the first time, its position on the road can be triangulated in real time by satellites in space. In fact, the “space age” had finally reached the car.

1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo navigation system

GM’s GuideStar

Meanwhile, General Motors had developed an integrated GPS navigation system, ONIS, which was introduced in Florida for Avis Rent A Car vehicles in 1992. The system was officially included as a factory option for the 1995 model year in the series. 88 Oldsmobile.

GM’s GuideStar

For retail, GuideStar has changed its name. Initially, only California and Las Vegas were mapped, but soon more cartridges were available for a larger area.

Alpine CVA-1005

In 1997, the Japanese company Alpine released its version of a pop-up navigation system on CD-ROM (saved map) using GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites. Each CD with mapping data covered only a few states. However, this system would allow adaptation and any car buyer could add GPS to their car.

Alpine CVA-1005

Formerly Garmin StreetPilot

In 1998 Garmin introduced its first portable StreetPilot GPS navigation system for the automotive industry. It had a black and white screen and used mapping cartridges. A cartridge could cover a relatively small area like Atlanta. This was a huge step forward, because now “everyone” could buy a GPS navigation system if they could afford it. The list price was initially $ 550. Best of all, it can be moved from one car to another at will, so people can pack it up, fly to one place, and use it in a rental car.

Early Garmin StreetPilot

Since the United States government has deliberately limited GPS functionality, the full performance of GPS technology was only installed in commercial vehicles in 2000, with new luxury vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series using this technology.

Since then, GPS technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Many drivers now rely on smartphones for accurate traffic and directions.

Karta GPS app for iOS and Android

Cars have come a long way in the past quarter century. In fact, the advent of GPS technology has become a major turning point in the way people view road travel today. Losing yourself is an adventure waiting to be discovered today.