Alpine Blackbird gets live traffic and Bluetooth

Alpine releases PMD 200 portable navigation device.

Alpine Blackbird PMD B200 CNET Networks

Alpine is using CES 2007 to launch the next generation Blackbird portable navigation device. The Blackbird PMD B200 improves on the first-generation device with live-traffic capabilities via a built-in Navteq tuner that picks up RDS data of live traffic flow and incidents. This information is then projected onto the device's preload maps to alert drivers to hotspots in real time. Owners of the PMD B200 get a free 90-day trial of the traffic service, after which it costs $60 for a year's subscription. Other navigation enhancements to the second generation Blackbird include an increased number of points of interest (from 2 million to 6 million), a bigger screen, and an integrated GPS antenna (rather than the protruding attachment present on its predecessor).

Also new on the PMD B200 is its built-in Bluetooth hands-free calling with the ability will copy over cell phone contact books. When a Bluetooth device is connected, users can access call history and make calls from an on-screen touchpad. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the PMD B200 is its ability to fit inside Alpine's new IVA-W205 in-dash multimedia stereo head unit. The PMD B200 will be available in spring: no pricing is yet available.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne