Navman will offer monthly map updates on its new top of the range portable GPS unit in Australia, claiming the feature is a "world first" in the portable navigation device (PND) category.
The company announced the "Rapid Map Refresh" feature at a media event in Sydney today. It will come standard on Navman's new MY450LMT model, and will be an optional extra on the cheaper MY400LMT and EZY250LM units.
The new in-car GPS devices will retail for $279, $229 and $169, respectively, and are available now in both Australia and New Zealand.
Navman says the monthly map updates available on the MY450LMT are "verified and validated" on an automatic basis.
New map data added each month will include new roads, and roads under construction, junctions, safety alerts, and new point of interests including sporting venues, hospitals and airports.
Navman's country director for Australia, Wendy Hammond, said the monthly map updates are ideal as Australian roads are constantly changing due to new developments.
"Australian roads and landmarks are constantly changing and even more changes will be happening soon."
"People expect to have the latest and most accurate information as soon as possible. It just made sense for us to ensure drivers also have access to the most up-to-date details on the road."
Navman's global mapping partner, HERE, says it recorded 42,000 kilometres of new roads, 7500 street name changes, 10,000 turn restrictions, 1800 new one-way streets, and 1800 new road direction signs in the yearly Australian map update from 2012 to 2013 alone.
The Rapid Map Refresh feature still requires users to connect their GPS device to a PC, but Navman says it is looking at ways to improve the update process.
"It is exactly the same as it was last year, so it's still computer based updates. Obviously we are always trying to improve how the software component of the map update works."
"The one exciting thing to say is that the NavDesk software is now compatible across both PC and Mac platforms. So Mac users can update their maps from now on."
Navman introduced free lifetime maps updates on its 2012 range of devices. The company confirmed that maps on the new MY400LMT and EZY250LM units will be updated quarterly, unless consumers take up a $149 option to add the new Rapid Map Refresh feature.
"If they don't go for the monthly map update, the EZY250, which is our mid-range product, and our MY400 come with lifetime maps as well, but they're a quarterly update as opposed to a monthly update."
"If a person chooses to actually then pay for a subscription to a monthly map as opposed to a quarterly map, they'll pay a one-off fee of $149 for the life of the product."
All Navman GPS units include a two year warranty and come pre-loaded with Australian and New Zealand maps, which will be updated for the life of the device.