PTV, 3SOFT Present: The New Generation of Navigation Systems - Corridor-based and Dynamic Off-board Navigation on the PDA

9/30/2002 - PTV AG and their partner 3SOFT GmbH present a new generation of navigation systems: ptv NaviGuide - a corridor-based off-board navigation via GPS, mobile phone and PDA. A route request is transferred from the driver's mobile end device to the service headquarters where it is processed by taking current traffic information as well as speed profiles relating to time of day and road sections into account. This data is then transmitted via advanced mobile communication such as GSM and GPRS to the vehicle. The PDA guides the driver to his destination by using voice navigation and screen display. As from Autumn 2002, ptv NaviGuide will be the first off-board navigation system to be produced in series as extra by a German automobile manufacturer.

Optimised routing
ptv NaviGuide offers the driver numerous advantages: A special routing method, which takes current traffic information as well as forecast data into account, will efficiently guide the driver through the traffic. The system also considers the problem of taking wrong turns. Due to a special corridor approach this telematics solution immediately provides the driver with an alternative route. Compared to standard off-board systems, a new route request becomes obsolete: As the navigation system knows the optimum route and alternative roads, the local re-routing function will guide the driver back to his original route. Moreover, ptv NaviGuide maps are always currently available European-wide at the service headquarters. This means no costs for map up-dates will arise.

Broad transfer channels
Communication between the PDA and the ptv server is based on standardised Internet protocols via GSM standard and - if already available - via GPRS network. The average amount of route data is then very limited. Once the system is linked to the service headquarters, the route request, calculation and transfer from the server to the system are performed just as fast as with standard on-board systems.

Sophisticated technology
ptv NaviGuide is built on PTV's eServer technology, a modular, scalable and open platform for implementing mobility solutions. This technology has proven its efficiency in numerous telematics projects. The well-established Map&Guide products use the key modules. The platform makes it possible to simply link ptv NaviGuide to existing billing and CRM systems as well as to Internet services, such as address management or hotel and restaurant guides. In addition, the system can be connected with traffic management centres, traffic control centres and call centre applications.

Open for further end devices
Presently, ptv NaviGuide runs on a HP Compag iPaq and 02 xda with Windows CE. 3SOFT GmbH, a leading company for embedded software in Germany, developed the client software. The software is designed in such a way that all kinds of end devices - for example, fixed devices, are also possible.

New perspectives for service providers
"ptv NaviGuide is a key component for mobility services in cars and their use is the first step towards comprehensive, intelligent telematics services", explains Hans Hubschneider, PTV AG's board of directors. These intelligent, low-cost navigation systems are of particular interest to automobile manufacturers, mobile communication network operators and telematics providers as well as operators of major vehicle fleets as they provide additional services and interesting business models. By linking further services, for example a hotel guide, offboard navigation opens up a wide spectrum of 'in-car telematics services'. Customer relationships become stronger and additional sales potentials due to user fees are generated. Car rentals, lorry leasing companies and fleet operators are able to equip their fleet with a standardised navigation solution. Especially car pools with vehicles from different car manufacturers will reduce maintenance costs and map charges by using a unified system.

Future-oriented concepts
PTV works on new traffic and transport concepts as part of research projects in which navigation systems play a central role. "Off-board navigation is a first step towards a new 'interlinked traffic world'", says Hans Hubschneider. "For years PTV has been involved in the creation of new navigation approaches. In the development of ptv NaviGuide, extensive expertise from the fields of traffic management, mobility and logistics was included. "We are convinced that the future of navigation systems lies in the integration of dynamic services, even for fixed installations", confirms Johann Haas, general manager of 3SOFT GmbH. "The fact that we have implemented our client software on mobile platforms such as PDA or Smartphone is only the first step towards hybrid navigation, also for fixed devices.

Background information: off-board navigation - how it works
The off-board navigation provides a new kind of dynamic routing by combining telecommunication and navigation: The difference to on-board navigation, in which the route is calculated in the vehicle, is the fact that here, the service headquarters plans and calculates the route. The driver sends his route request entering the destination on his PDA. The request is automatically transferred to the service headquarters. The vehicle is tracked via GPS module. The centre calculates the best route based on the latest maps and transfers the information via mobile communication network. ptv NaviGuide uses GSM, GPRS or in the near future also UTMS. Within a few seconds the route request is processed at the service headquarters: The driver receives a detailed route description with exact turn-off details as well as time and distance details relating to the destination. During the trip the navigation software supports the driver with voice output and driving instructions. In contrast to conventional off-board navigation systems, ptv NaviGuide provides the user with a dynamic routing: The route calculation takes the current traffic information and speed profiles relating to time of day and road sections into account. This means that the best possible route is calculated and it produces exact travel time forecasts.

PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG
PTV AG provides software, consulting and research for travel, traffic and transportation planning in the B2B field. For years PTV products such as map&guide for professional trip planning, VISUM for traffic planning and INTERTOUR for distribution planning have been established as European market leaders. Future-oriented concepts and innovative technologies ensure continuous mobility in the business fields Traffic, Mobility and Logistics.Whether road, rail or public transport - intelligent planning and use of the traffic infrastructure is the key focus of activities for the business field Traffic. In this field PTV works primarily with local authorities, private and public operating companies and transport communities, as well as consultancies and industry.The business field Mobility is concerned with software solutions and services for personalised mobility management. Telematics providers, mobility headquarters and Internet portals will find an optimum platform as well as the latest technologies for Web, WAP and traceable mobile devices.The business field Logistics develops software and ASP services for trip planning and fleet management. Professional GeoManagement solutions for planning and displaying distribution and sales structures complete this range of services.Our group-independent enterprise was founded in 1979. With more than 300 employees in the parent company in Karlsruhe and numerous branches and subsidiaries in Germany, Europe and the USA, PTV AG is actively opening up national and international markets.

Since its foundation in 1989 3SOFT has been well established in the field of software development for embedded systems. Embedded systems are microprocessors, i.e. components which are used for the control of electronic systems. 3SOFT provides products and services for operating and monitoring these electronic systems. The company, with headquarters in Erlangen and branch offices in Braunschweig and Stuttgart, has specialised in medial engineering, industrial and home automation as well as in-car computing. 3SOFT customers are market-leaders from all kinds of business branches: Agfa, Audi, BMW, Bosch (Blaupunkt), DaimlerChrysler, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Hella, Siemens A&D/Med/VDO, Techem, Temic, Visteon, VW and many others. In 2001 3SOFT achieved a turnover of 8.3 million Euro with 95 employees. The company has currently 141 employees.

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