At IFA 2007, Panasonic announced that they are moving into the European GPS market with the launch of their Strada range, already available in Japan and America.
The first model to be available is the new CN-GPS0N, a 5-inch widescreen device with touchscreen capabilities that measures 128 x 84 x 30mm and has a 4-hour battery for use outside the car.
Map data included will be for 37 European countries with 1.3 million points of interest included - some of which have "Direct Dial" phone number info - with 220 3D landmark displays and postal code searches.
The unit will boast Bluetooth hook-up for hands-free calling and contact's details can be transferred direct to the device. It also recognises voice commands and can apparently be "trained" to recognise the driver's vocal characteristics.
One feature that sounds very interesting is the "Lane Assistant" functionality that shows the correct lane the driver needs to be in when approaching a junction as well as providing the same info via voice guidance.
This should mean last-minute lane changes are avoided, and will take the guess work out of "take the second exit" type commands that can be a bit ambiguous.
Other features of note are speed info, for anyone who likes to be informed when they're over the limit (which can also be disabled), speed camera info and the option for link up with an additional RDS-TMC traffic info receiver.
No launch dates were confirmed and neither was exact pricing, although the unit is expected to go on sale for around 400 euros which is around £270.