Automobile drivers are often faced with the need to drive in unfamiliar surroundings, find unknown destinations or select the best route on their travels.
A variety of in-vehicle navigation and route guidance systems have been proposed, developed and demonstrated in the United States, Europe and Japan. Although the systems are certainly useful, sophisticated and attractive, they are also, at least at the moment, relatively expensive.
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario is actively pursuing the assessment and possible development of TravElGuide, a route guidance system that will offer most of the benefits of more advanced systems but at significantly lower cost.
The present concept of the system includes a portable device that provides advice to the driver, based on real-time traffic information, on the route to take from his current position to his destination. The system does not include an onboard navigation capability; it relies on the driver to act as the navigator, thus resulting in significant cost savings.
This paper provides a brief overview of route guidance systems, describes the TravElGuide concept and compares it against route guidance systems in operation or under development elsewhere.