Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs)
Personal Navigation Devices or PNDs, are portable devices specifically built to run road navigation applications and utilize GPS (Global Positioning System) technology. Road navigation applications are programs that use road, street, and landmark information available on the internet and through input from the GPS satellites to generate street maps and turn-by-turn directions for use by consumers to find the quickest and safest routes during trips. Because of their convenience and versatile user-friendly features, PNDs currently make up one of the largest GPS enabled device consumer markets. The earliest origins of PNDs date back to 1960, when a scientist by the name of Dr. Ivan Getting developed the first version of the GPS to work with military owned and operated satellite systems in outer space. By 1974, in response to the increasing government demand for tracking, the military launched four GPS satellites into orbit, with the specific task of tracking through GPS technology. Until 1983, when a Korean Commercial Plane was shot down after mistakenly entering into Soviet airspace, GPS technology was only available for military use. After that tragedy, then President Ronald Reagan declared that the GPS technology would be made available for the whole world to use once the system was completely operational. Work continued on the GPS but wasn’t complete until 1995. In 1999, the first modernized GPS satellite was launched into space, which opened up the opportunity for private manufacturers to begin taking advantage of the technology. Manufacturers such as Tom Tom, Magellan, Navigon, Pioneer, and Garmin started then creating stand-alone GPS units that have become mainstream in the PND industry. PNDs exploded and there has been tremendous growth as the result of high consumer demand. Currently, there are an estimated 114 million PNDs in use worldwide (“Where are you now”, n.d.). Although there has been much success in the PND...
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