It certainly is a valid question from someone not familiar with the latest trends and developments in the automotive industry, especially considering freely available smartphone navigation applications.
Here we want to point out why we believe embedded navigation has never been more relevant and that there is a strong upward trend in embedding navigation in modern vehicles .
Navigation used to be available in the highest trims of most premium brands only just 20 years ago. Today, it is available as an option in most vehicles; buying a new family sedan without navigation seems very unlikely in 2021.
A smartphone equipped with a free online navigation application was certainly one of the driving forces in the general adoption of navigation as an everyday tool. However, using a smartphone navigation application is not always convenient; a phone needs to be mounted in a visible place, and it needs to be connected to a charger.
Embedded navigation offsets these problems and makes the navigation experience more pleasant . Integration with other vehicle systems makes it possible to show the map or just upcoming maneuver information on a digital cluster display or a head-up display. The level of integration with the vehicle's audio system cannot be matched by an app running on the smartphone. Technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto came close but are still lagging in integration.