GLOBAL Positioning Systems (GPS) used to be available as a standard option only in executive cars but now, they are offered as OEM equipment in most cars. In fact, even cars that cost less than RM70,000 feature GPS systems.
With numerous GPS navigation system brands available in the market as both OEM and aftermarket options, the differences between one system to another can be big.
While the map databases in most GPS systems available in the market are similar, the search engine is what determines the user-friendliness of a system, separating the good from the bad. There are GPS systems where we can easily find a desired destination and systems where we can just never find the place that we wish to go.
Usually, this issue is due to the fact that the search engine programme is made by foreigners, who don’t understand Malaysian syntax and how English and Bahasa Malaysia is often interchanged when it comes to naming a building or a street.
Let us look at Mutiara Shopping Complex for instance. Most GPS systems would require the driver to key in the exact name. However, now, we have Aapico Hitech’s Powermap and Galactio GPS search engine systems that are capable of recognising the intended destination only after a few letters or a word – similar to Google’s Auto Complete system. All the driver has to do is key in a few letters (regardless of whether it’s in English or Bahasa Malaysia), or a word, and scroll to find the right destination.
This is why the Powermap and Galactio received the “Most Improved Navigation Aid” at the New Straits Times-Maybank Car of the Year Awards 2013 last Thursday at the Saujana Golf and Country Club in Subang Jaya.
So, someone who wants to go to Mutiara Shopping Complex can even type “Mutiara Kompleks”, “Kompleks Mutiara”, or even “Complex Mutiara” and find the coordinates.
The system also recognises a large number of commonly interchangeable words such as “Jln” for “Jalan” and “Ave” for “Avenue”.
According to Aapico, the unified search simultaneously searches across landmark names, POI names, road names and addresses, making it easier to find the desired location.
The unique search engine is the result of investments by Aapico Hitech and one of the pioneers in the Malaysian GPS community, SB Mok.
This search engine is branded as Powermap for the automotive OEM market and Galactio as the consumer aftermarket.
Currently, this system, which is being offered as OEM in Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Proton models, has also been launched in Thailand.
Aapico says that currently, Powermap and Galactio are used by GPS systems by brands such as Gophers, Jensors, OtoNavi, Motevo, Celltech, Dynavin and others.