Rand McNally, the venerable publishing house of the long-standing paper Road Atlas and builder of commercial GPS systems was at the Chicago Auto Show to show off a new product. When I received the notice they had a press conference coming, I brushed off the news as unimportant and boring until I saw what they actually announced. They debuted a brand new product called “OverDryve” that combines a massive collection of technologies together to give any car with a 12-volt plug a full suite of safety and infotainment features.
Its based on an Android tablet, but thanks to a selection of smart design choices, it is perfectly suited for use in a car. It includes a full Rand McNally navigation system, forward collision alert technology, voice commands, text messaging, calling, vehicle system diagnostics, backup camera, and that is just the start. In short, it is a single third party system that incorporates almost every major safety and entertainment technology that buyers want on a new car. And thanks to its tablet design, it can be installed in basically any car.
Basically, you can give your 1969 Camaro the same technology that it is in a 2015 Lexus. Its incredible. And somehow, Rand McNally is doing this all for just $399. That price snags you a tablet, accessories, and custom magnetic mounting system. The only extra cost is the wireless backup camera that will run you an extra $99. Considering navigation and tech packages on a new car can cost thousands of dollars, I think this is a hell of a deal.
I did get a chance to see the system demoed and explained, and it did seem to work well, but I am still holding some reservation on how well the thing actually works. Android tablets have a long history of being slow to respond, buggy and poorly built. With that in mind, we are excited about OverDryve, but cautious. We are looking in to securing a review unit to test over a few weeks to see just how well it works in the real world.
Keep your eyes here on AutoTalk for more news about that is we get it.