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Carrozzeria HDD car navigation system from Pioneer

Pioneer announced a car navigation system, called "Carrozzeria HDD" (Cyber Navi), equipped with a removable 30GB hard disk. The new Cyber Navi system is designed so that its "central unit," consisting of the computer and high-capacity hard disk drive at the heart of the system, can be removed and inserted into a "Living Kit" box at home, and hooked up to a TV set and other equipment. Users can create driving plans or listen to music recorded onto the hard disk, in their homes. Because the Living Kit device supports a broadband connection to the Internet, in the future users will be able to upgrade maps and other information at home. This should be feasible "within the next 12 months," a Pioneer official said. Toshiba Corp makes the hard disk drive.

The new system also has a function for predicting traffic congestion. The hard disk stores a vast amount of past traffic data, analyzed statistically by season, time of day, day of the week, and other parameters. For example, the system can display maps showing the level of forecast traffic congestion for a specific date and time, or suggest the best route based on the past predictive data and current traffic information.

The AVIC-ZH900MD model with a 7-inch wide touch panel and DVD/MD/CD will cost about $3,406. The AVIC-ZH900, which is identical to the AVIC-ZH900MD but without the MD player, will cost about $3,222. Both models are due for release in late June. Monthly production is expected to be 12,000 units of the AVIC-ZH900MD, and 4,000 units of the AVIC-ZH900.

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