This gadget gives you everything you need to get around in a motorhome
The Alpine Navi Stick, developed by Alps Alpine using HERE maps and traffic data, is a plug-and-play device that provides navigation for compatible Alpine motorhome radios.
Using free navigation apps on your smartphone may work for simple journeys, but it can cause time-consuming problems if the vehicle you are driving happens to be a motorhome.
“Let's say I am driving a motorhome that is eight meters long and three meters high," said Ingmar Heck, Marketing Manager for brand business at Alps Alpine.
“All of a sudden, I am driving through narrow streets in Italy, or an overpass or narrow bridge, and my vehicle can't go there. I am in big trouble. Users who are faced with this have to turn back and re-route themselves, and this has caused a lot of frustration."
Adding to the woes is the reality that some of the most popular tourist destinations for motorhomes in Europe, including Croatia, Italy and France, are littered with cramped lanes that do not suit these kinds of vehicles.
Another problem is these navigation systems depend on mobile data. Head to a remote location, and suddenly you are faced with stiff roaming charges or no connection at all.
“For this kind of tourism, a built-in offline navigation tool is a much better choice."
Carry on camping
Alpine has created the Alpine Navi Stick, a USB plug-and-play device that includes navigation capabilities for motorhome drivers. Not only can it be used offline, with detailed maps from HERE of 50 European countries, but the gadget boasts several other features. HERE map content was used, Heck said, because “it was so detailed and comprehensive in its data."
“We have added park4night, Europe's biggest and best database for campsites," Heck added. This information is available in five languages and you can read user ratings. Users can see photos of the site they want to visit and call to check if there is a vacancy with the push of a button.
“You buy the stick once and you are good to go," Heck says. The Alpine Navi Stick is compatible with four Alpine products that can be used as radios with a touchscreen for navigation. Motorhome drivers can specify if their vehicle is small, medium or large, or add exact measurements.
The addition of HERE Traffic to the device means that users can also plan their journeys around avoiding congestion, especially around bottlenecks and popular spots.
The product was launched at Caravan Salon trade fair in Düsseldorf this month.
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