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Dashin' Around Town!

Dashin' Around Town
by Gary Woods

A lot of us have GPS (Global Positioning Systems) in our cars. Some units are built-in and some are stand alone. For finding out where you're going they're great. All the major players like Garmin, Magellan, Pioneer and TomTom have services that you can subscribe to that allow you to receive through FM or satellite radio add-ons traffic updates. These notifications are based on reports of stalled cars, accidents and construction slow-downs from a number government and private sources.

The new technology that's emerging now from Dash Navigation promises to give you the ability to avoid delays by using data collected from GPS devices in thousands of cars to detect slowdowns and direct you to the fastest route on-the-fly.

The product called Dash Express uses data from a Microsoft spin-off called Intrix, and their software predicts traffic delays by analyzing weather, GPS data, road sensors, construction schedules, previous accident patterns and other information. All of this data is brought together and instantly gives you the 3 best routes to your destination.

Similar technology is out there brewing with the cell companies like Verizon who have their VZ Navigator GPS service but currently Dash Express has a leg up. The Dash devices cost around $600 to $800 and will require a monthly fee of about $10 to $15. So when Dash Express arrives in Santa Barbara if you all go get one I'll know the best route to get to where I'm going.

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments Inc. You can hear Gary on the Radio at AM 1290 Monday at 9-10AM

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910