Fleet News

Satellite navigation via mobile phone ready 'in a year'

COMPANY car drivers could, within a year, be using a new satellite navigation system that delivers route direction through their mobile phones.

Yeoman Group is talking to mobile phone operators, vehicle manufacturers and fleets as it prepares to distribute its new navigation product to the business market.

The system delivers turn-by-turn instructions through mobile phones fitted with hands-free kits and can monitor local traffic conditions to advise on whether alternative routes would be quicker.

Vincent Geake, Yeoman's chief technology officer, said: 'We have developed a technology that can deliver valuable navigation services using a conventional mobile handset and location-enabled vehicles, whose position can be tracked by a central server.'

A driver connected to the system would dial a number to speak to a Yeoman operator and ask for directions. The operator would input the destination details into a computer, and the driver would then receive recorded instructions throughout the journey.

The system also uses designated street names and road numbers to ensure drivers stay on the right track, and will offer alternative instructions to the destination if the driver deviates from the set route.

The company believes fleets could save thousands of pounds by subscribing to the scheme instead of selecting satellite navigation as an option in company cars - which can cost up to £2,000.

Yeoman is devising a 'pay-as-you-go' scheme and airtime is not paid for the length of the journey - only the length of the instructions, which would run into a few minutes.

The group is planning to raise £10 million by selling more shares to fund the full scale commercial rollout of the new service. Its objective over the next 12 months is to produce a range of services delivering complete 'end-to-end' mobile navigation solutions for drivers taking into account real time traffic conditions to improve journey efficiency.

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